“Ready For Winter”, after Choate, 12×16 oil on canvas, by Rog Lyngaas, 5jan09, using Choate7 palette with Raw Umber & Viridian Hue mix for Warm Blue.

My favorite phrase the past month in my deli is to ask “Are you ready for Epiphany?”.  I am sure, many people were wondering what planet earth I was from during this time.  However, a significant population of people do take great measures to be ready for Epiphany.  Especially places like Serbia, Russia, and the Ukraine.  From the American Christian perspective it is the Eastern European celebration of Christmas.   From my perspective from afar adrift of all true knowledge of what Epiphany really is… It is the beginning of World Peace…  Ever heard the Christmas phrase “Peace on Earth”.  What do you think of it, and why do you care?  I do not know much about peace.  But what I have been learning over time is 1] Peace has to have a beginning, a decision. 2] Peace starts with self. 3] In the end, peace exists, but we cannot recognize it, from our original understanding of what it is.

I painted this painting with Fred Choate, my mentor.  My rendition has alot of hay bails, trying to show that this rancher is ready for the impending Winter.  As you may or may not know; in Idaho Winter starts at the top and comes down the Mountains into the valleys.  I.E. Because of the varied elevation in Idaho Winter starts in October at 7000 feet and above; but really does not reach Boise until December at 3000 feet and below.  Because of such, there are many winter scenes in Idaho that show a valley without snow and a backdrop of foothills, mesas,  and/or mountains that have several feet of snow.

Fred’s rendition was completely alla prima [a rarity for him], and it resembles more a valley ranch scene set in the Bruneau area of Idaho, in Owyhee county.  When he was done painting, he told me that it is the best painting he has ever painted.  It was like an Epiphany for him.  For once he was happy with his looseness of brush strokes.  Of course the devil’s advocate that I am, I disagreed.  I pointed out several reasons to him why by analyzing several of his most recent paintings with him.  After all the discussion, I had to agree that in his heart he was right.  You see what his version attained is the looseness he once had 15 years ago plus the technical prowess of what he is doing now with his palette.  I thought some of his other recent work had such high quality water reflection that in no way could a painting that has no water reflection be his best.  I was wrong.   So this was his Epiphany.  Because after painting this he really was relaxed.

My Epiphany started when I got my new glasses yesterday.  They truly are multi facited.  They correct for double vision, stigmatism, near sightedness, and now by  popular demand… reading lenses.  It is kind of neat to have reading lenses in the bifocals that actually correct for the double vision.  These suckers are going to take some getting used to.  But at least I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.   By the way… it has been snowing like crazy right in Boise this year.


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