56. Autumn in the Tetons

Along US Highway 89 several miles north Teton Park Road (which leads to Jackson Lake, Wyoming), there’s a bluff overlooking Jackson Lake. In the late afternoon light of late September, the scene I witnessed in the fall of 2019 was a riot of color. The Teton Range made for a spectacular backdrop. The expanse of the lake shimmered in silver. The leaves of the cottonwood trees shone like polished metal – bronze, copper, gold. The colors were so intense as to almost be surreal. This gave me the idea for an artwork where I could shift the colors in other directions.


For this piece I ventured away from reproducing the photo’s colors, and instead try to capture the drama of the scene – the way the clouds piled onto each other; the deep shadows of the mountain valleys; the dazzle of the snowy peaks; and the depth of the prairie leading to the edge of the lake. I wanted to push a lot of texture & relief into the mountains, while keeping the sky relatively “flat” – virtually no texture from the pastels. I wanted the sky colors to convey the drama & depth, but without overpowering the overall image. I used the same approach for the surface of the lake. The far shore of the lake – this long line across nearly the entire field of view – became an artificial horizon. But in this case, the division between mountain-prairie rather than land-sky.   


This piece belongs to my #ArtForGood project, where all proceeds are donated to a suitable nonprofit. For this piece, I will donate funds to DiscNW‘s Youth Development Fund, which provides scholarships and program support for youth ultimate in the Greater Seattle area.


  • Medium Sennelier oil pastels on Arches Oil Paper, 140lb.
  • Dimensions 10″ x 8″, mounted, double-matte (in colors, as shown), 14″ x 11″, unframed, cello-bagged
  • Donation US$150
  • Status Sold to a private collector

~ by Delfino on 2020/03/01.

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