Arc en Ciel, 24x30, acrylic on linen, Jan Blencowe, copyright 2010
You really need to see this painting in person. The exquisite subtleties, the veils of translucent color, the play between transparent and impasto paint are really completely lost in the jpeg!
This is always a problem for me with paintings that are executed in a close tonal range and incorporate an abundance of atmosphere, scumbling and soft edges. Which pretty much describes all of my my work!
I suspect that this will need to go to my professional photographer to get a really good digital image that pulls up all the subtle qualities. But for now here it is.
The inspiration for this painting is a good reminder why it's always important for you to have a camera with you. As much as I love to work outdoors sketching, doing field studies to use in the studio, sometimes you just can't stop and sketch.
The basic concept and composition for this painting came from a moment when I sitting in bumper to bumper traffic at the beginning of an exit ramp on I-91. The highway is elevated and the view out the passenger side window spreads out across the marsh and looks east from New Haven to East Haven. In a fleeting moment the sun broke through heavy low cloud cover and lit up the left hand section of marsh with a sublime light. I literally threw my iPhone at my daughter and had her hang out the window to snap a picture. Good grief what we make our families do to support our art! LOL
The rainbow was something I witnesses over a different section of marsh in Old Saybrook last summer after being caught plein air painting in a thunderstorm. I took a photo, but the composition in that one never really grabbed me but the rainbow and clouds were amazing. That photo gave me a chance to really study the rainbow. I've always wanted to do a rainbow painting (btw arc en ciel is French for rainbow) some of the Hudson River School painters created amazing rainbow scenes without being garish or looking like there should be leprechauns and unicorns populating the scene and I always wondered if I could pull it off.
Samuel Coleman, Rainbow on the Hudson,
Robert Scott Duncanson, Landscape with Rainbow
George Inness, The Delaware Water Gap
JMW Turner also painted rainbows.....
JMW Turner, Buttermere Lake with Park
JMW Turner, The Rainbow
Below is a Constable double rainbow...
John Constable, Hampstead heath with a Rainbow
Here's an impressionist painting....Pissarro one of my favorites!