This painting has been bothering me for some time now. I painted it last fall on Hwy 40 at Big Bend on the way to Berthoud Pass. Last weekend I decided to rework it. A number of things finally gelled for me. The foreground was out of proportion to the mountain, dimishing the size and solidness. In fact, the trees can still come down a bit more on the bottom to no ill effect. Also, the trees on the far side of the mountain were no different in value than the trees in the foreground, so I grayed them down. I carved away at the grove of trees near the top and also grayed them. I felt the color of the beetle kill was too intense. I concentrated on trying to get movement through the mountain side and to break up all the gold. I did not get to the immediate foreground at all so that is incomplete at this point. I will look at for awhile and see what comes. It is all a process.
I do enjoy taking these paintings to see what I can learn. I look at the photo reference very sparingly and concentrate on what I am trying to say. I had put the original photo of the painting in photoshop and grayscaled it, and took my photo reference and grayscaled it, too. Amazingly, my values weren't as off as I had thought, so I held to the color and value of the original painting as I reworked it, but tried to get more feeling of movement and depth.
Tomorrow I will be heading to California for a week. I am taking my paints, but computer access will be limited.