The Eiger Glacier carves out a steep path between the Eiger and the Mönch in the Swiss Alps.
Clouds obscured the mountains when I was there last summer, but enough sun poured through to highlight the glacier and the many waterfalls that tumbled down the mountainside.
I wanted the climbers in the scene to give it a sense of scale, to show how large these masses of rock and ice really are. That may be the most challenging thing for me when it comes to painting a mountain: my purpose in painting mountains is to transport to viewer. I hope to give them some of the same feeling of awe at the grandeur on display. Yet my constraint of a canvas with two dimensions means that I need to reduce the vision to a defined space—I suppose you could almost think of it as a window. What precedes the actual act of painting, then, is a long process during which I transform the "window" over and over.
What way of looking at the view gives the greatest impression of scale? Of light? Of movement and drama?
Which "window" draws the viewer's eye upwards, giving them a path to follow "into" the painting?
I'll keep exploring these questions with every mountain composition I begin—and hopefully that means I'll get to explore some more mountains in the near future with paints in tow.