Sunday, April 18, 2010


These past weeks have been idyllic! The weather in Palm Springs is warming up and the sun is shining. I’ve been on three hikes in the area to witness the profusion of wild flowers after our wet winter. Well, for Palm Springs, it was wet. We had nearly 5 inches of rainfall this winter!

Our annual average rainfall is 5 inches. We’ve exceeded our annual allotment. We’ve had flash floods and some roads have washed out or were buried under mud. And there’s still six months to go in this season! Rhodes Island had 9 inches of rain in one day! I cannot imagine!

The past two weeks have been dry, sunny and warm. And I’m a happy man! My kind of weather! I love the heat and the sun. But you know that if you know me or have been reading my blog. Being outdoor and in the sun recharges my batteries.

In a prior blog entry, I talked about my recent series of paintings. This week, I want to talk about the first painting in that series. It’s one of my favorites. All, right, OK. Each one; each and every one, is one of my favorites. I like them all.

This painting was difficult not only because it was the first one of the series but it was the one to provide the “key” to the series. When I began this painting, I realized that by affixing the woven field to the blank canvas, I had compromised the surface of the canvas. I had changed the pristine, clean surface. I had sealed parts of the canvas. I couldn’t use a thin wash on the canvas. That’s how I always began! The wash wouldn’t “stick” to the sealed surface. My first reaction? “I just ruined 10 canvases!”

I knew that I wanted a light, sunny field painting. I wanted to see how many colors I could get onto the canvas and have it read as “white”. I wanted it to be filled with color but give the illusion of “white.” Sort of like a pearl. I think of them as “white” but they are filled with all sorts of color. The opalescence is filled with blues, green, reds, yellow. It wasn’t working for me.

The surface of the canvas wasn’t cooperating. It is the fault of the canvas! Right? Yeah, right. I just ruined 10 canvases. I set them aside and worked on a commission and other “stuff”. But those troublesome, “ruined” canvases met me every morning, inhabited my studio and refused to be ignored.

One beautiful sunny morning, I opened the doors, let the warmth and sun into my studio and spread my tubes of paint on the table. I returned to my idea of multiple colors in a field of white. But rather than white, I wanted sunshine and all that warmth. Instead of a thin wash over the canvas, I used a gel medium with a touch of pigment. I covered the canvas using my favorite palette knife. I let it dry. I added another layer and another and another. I began building up layers of colors. Each layer added depth and let the prior layer shine through. The canvas took on a waxy “feel”. I added iridescent white and gold.

Thirty plus layers later, I have a painting that changes with the light. It changes as you walk past the painting. The opalescence is incredible! It is not the white I had envisioned. It is a buttery, sunny color filled with other colors: waxy. It almost looks like it is melting. “Icarus” flying too close to the sun.

This painting is available for purchase. If you are interested or want to know more about this painting, please respond to this blog, E-mail me at or contact me at my studio: 760-992-3157. You can see more of my artwork for sale at
Thank you for “listening”

Jerry L. Hanson

1 comment:

  1. It looks like you like yellow the same way I like yellow. What pigments are you using?