I sometimes mention Claude Lorrain as one of the artists who impacted my own painting in a big way. So who the heck IS this guy?
Claude was born Claude Gellée and was (in my opinion) a fantastic landscape painter from 17th century France. If you're interested in the details of his life, I'll let you read his bio which appears on the J. Paul Getty Museum's website rather than go into all that here. But I will tell you he made landscapes that seem to offer perfect harmony and composition -- places where people work and live in Arcadian beauty. Claude was known for his golden yellow or orange skies, making beautiful scenes even warmer and more inviting.
Sunset or Landscape with Argus Guarding Io
Pastoral Landscape (1638)
I'm somewhat limited in my ability to emulate what Claude did in his landscapes. Here in the desert, except for cottonwood trees, I don't have the advantage of being able to place nice, big, full, lush trees against the sky. What we have are short Joshua trees, saguaro cactus, palo verde and ironwood "trees" (the latter two are more like big shrubs than trees). And cottonwoods are found only where water is near or on the surface.
Oh, well. I'll make the best of it. Claude's spirit compels me to do so.