Skip to comments.D. LaRue Mahlke paints landscapes suffused with the very spirit of creation
Posted on 02/16/2013 9:38:04 AM PST by Utah Binger
LAST SUMMER while driving home to Texas after participating in the first annual Artistic Horizons show in Bozeman, MT, Denise LaRue Mahlke swung through Yellowstone National Park. One of the things that grabbed me there were the geyser pools, she recalls. They were infatuating to me. It was magical how they all looked so different. Some were like mud pots in opaque greens or reds. Others were clear, giant pools that looked incredibly deep and almost iridescent in shades of emerald and sapphire. One reminded me of a peacock feather. I could have stood and stared at them for hours, even with the smell of sulfur in the air.
With such deep thoughts in mind, she began work on a 36-by-48-inch pastel painting that she named CONNECTIVITY, the first work in what she anticipates will become a series. With small pencil sketches, she first figured out the breakup of space on the canvas, finding ways to lead the viewers eye through the work. Then she prepared the painting surface itself, mounting onto rigid but lightweight Gatorboard a special sanded paper that has a microscopic tooth designed to grab the soft pastel medium. She treated the surface with a mixture of gesso and fine pumice powder. Next, she brushed in a light watercolor underpainting that aimed to capture the overall tones of the scene. In some of the pools, a lot of what you see in the final work is just the underpainting, she explains. Finally, working largely with the broader sides of her pastel stickswielding them more like brushes than crayons, a primary reason she thinks of her creations as paintings rather than drawingsshe laid down layer after layer of color, gradually building a realistic scene of remarkable complexity and depth.
(Excerpt) Read more at southwestart.com ...
Thought you might enjoy seeing this. We were showing them here during the picnic last fall.
A deeply religious woman, Mahlke aims always to be aware of how God has blessed me, to see the world with that deep sense of wonder that God gives us all, and by the works of my hand to turn around and give it back in a God-honoring way.
Looks like real water!