Article by Denise Hartley
In the Birth of a Painting Series, I try to give examples where the artist finds inspiration in creating an artwork, and how the creative process develops within the artist.
I begin this series with my painting “Blossom Peak”. It is a 4’ x 6’, mixed media painting on a wood panel, created in 2004. It is in a private collection.
The inspiration for the painting “Blossom Peak” began on a hike I took with my son. We climbed an iconic peak in Three Rivers, California. Three Rivers is near the entrance to Sequoia National Park, on the banks of the whitewater Kaweah River. The park is the home of Mount Whitney, in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It is famous for its giant sequoia groves, jagged peaks, and glacier polished valleys, rushing rivers, and wildlife. As a resident of Three Rivers, hiking is an important experience, as well as white water rafting and swimming, and it is the backpackers dream location.
My young son I enthusiastically began our hike at the base of Blossom Peak, and headed straight up hill, we rose above California’s Central Valley, hidden by fog. After reaching the top, we could see the snow covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada, signed the book, made our cell calls, and then my son looked over the steep edge, and slipped. He somehow caught himself at the last moment at the precipice, a 35’ drop to the rocks below.
In the spirit of jubilant thankfulness, we began our descent. The inspiration of this painting was based upon the high emotions that I felt that day, and on our return, I began this painting, “Blossom Peak”.
Video: Birth of a Painting Series: “Blossom Peak”.