Fire and Water

Fire and Water med Ann's rev (2)

“Fire and Water” – click on painting for enlarged detail and color

Purchase a print online through Fine Art America. Range of sizes and frame options.

For a canvas print with a hand painted brush texture simulating the original, contact the artist.
In the studio, 36″ x 24″  signed print, $325.


Fire and Water

Oil on canvas, 36” x 24”
Private collection

It’s safe to say the Gresham Mill at Sixes Road has been the subject of more paintings and photographs than any other landmark in Cherokee County. In high summer, 2003, I added my own version. I visited the mill in early morning, and captured the mists and morning sunlight that softened the heavy blanket of green that Georgia wears in the summer.

But autumn is my favorite season in Georgia, so I was thrilled when I was approached by a couple celebrating their fortieth anniversary: they wanted a painting of the mill in autumn.

pen and ink finished revIt was still early summer when I visited the Mill once again to make preliminary black and white sketches, as I do for major works. Working on the play of lights and shadows without the distraction of color, I can examine the “bones” of the scene. I sat outside for a while watching the early morning light move across the eastern face of the mill. I tried to discern how the scene made me feel—what is was “communicating.” This is one of the most important but perhaps least understood aspects of what an artist does. The undercurrents of emotion that a scene evokes are the submerged text that must be manifested in the painting. This is what separates the art from a photo.

As fall came to Georgia and the colors reached their height, I returned twice to the scene. The transformation wrought by color heightened what I had seen in summer—the mill was almost shrouded by trees, cast in shadow and embedded in the hillside. The movement of the bright foliage around it was like sheets of fire cascading down the hillside, finally extinguishing themselves on the rocks amongst the cool shadows of the stream. I made a color study in pastels.

Mill pastel studyIn looking at the final painting, you can see how the artist’s vision differs from the initial color rendering. The final work of art matches the vision in my mind’s eye:, where it seemed to me as I looked upon this scene, I was seeing the last glowing flames of life warming the Mill before the slumber of cold winter.


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