The Inconstant Horizon

There’s a clarity in the foreground?and then a subtle recession into space. I’m very deliberate in what I do, and that effect was definitely planned. The atmosphere was produced by a series of washes: first a darker, green wash and then a blue wash over it. I scrubbed both washes?picking up pigment with my brush?so only a ghost of color was left in the fibers of the paper.

Rooftops of Fayence (watercolor, 12 1/2 x 15)

Over the years, This scene is from Fayence, a village in the south of France, in sight of the Mediterranean; the nearest town is Cannes. My wife, the painter Joe Anna Arnett, and I have often returned to Fayence where we rent a modernized farmhouse that dates from the 16th century. We love the area: the coastal mountain ranges, the perched, walled villages that were designed to provide a defense against invaders. Villages like Fayence grew by accretion—one building next to another. You may see a stone wall that goes back to the 14th century and then, right next to it, a relatively modern building. I love the juxtaposition of different building materials and the different constructions on the hillsides.

I sketched on site, and then, because we were staying for a month, I could also work on the painting in my farmhouse studio. Joe Anna would go antiquing, and I would paint. The light in Provence is fantastic, and we’re going back this year.

After minoring in art at Northwest Nazarene College, Delbert Gish spent two years as a student of Sergei Bongart. He later worked as an instructor for Bongart and continued his studies at the Art Student?s League in New York. Since 1990, he?s conducted workshops across the United States. Over the past 35 years, his paintings have appeared in many juried exhibitions and in a wide range of publications. In addition, Gish?s work can be found in many private and museum collections. Currently based in Medical Lake, Wisconsin, Gish is represented by the Douglas Gallery (Spokane, Washington), Fritchman Galleries (Boise, Idaho), Lee Morrison Gallery (Missoula, Montana), Portfolio Graphics (Salt Lake City, Utah), and the William F. Reese Gallery (Wenatchee, Washington).

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