In the stern of the canoe is Superintendent Matthew LaRoche and in the bow ranger Bob Johnston of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. I captured this image of these two rangers while shooting Chase Rapids below Churchill Dam and by getting into the torrent up to my knees and shooting photographs and video footage of the two in action. In many ways the composition is made up of many of the images with an emphasis on movement and the force of the rapids as the experienced rangers navigate through and around the submerged rocks. It is a large impasto oil 38 x 48 inches painted on heavy linen and gessoed using traditional methods. I added Black Oil Wax medium to the paint to increase the paint’s viscosity and enrich the paint in color. I didn’t try to hide they way I painted this subject, but allowed the brush strokes to be laid bare to capture the very soul and natural forces of the event and my encounter as an outdoor artist.
I used only quality materials for this painting. For the paint I use handmade Williamsburg and Blockx, and Old Holland pure pigments because there is no additive to the paint. Next I make my own Italian Black Oil Wax medium that I add to the paint to extend it, make it semi-transparent, and make it into the impasto thickness that I desire. I use palette knives and bristle brushes loaded with paint. There are no solvents such as turpentine mixtures in my paintings and the luster seen in the work is created by the black oil wax medium. The painting is rendered on a 38 ” x 48″ heavy weight Belgian linen. The linen was prepared with two coats of Rabbit skin glue and two coats of oil based gesso.