Looking in the mirrors of a car provides two perspectives of the world. Where you’ve been, clear and sharp, and where you are going, proportionally blurred with the speed of the moving car.
From the passenger seat on a recent trip, I pondered these two views,
Back in my studio I began by laying out the basic shapes of the mirror and landscape.
From the sky of Cyan and Titanium White to the passing fields, where I added Cadmium Yellow Medium to the sky still remaining on my palette, I began painting the background. A little fuzzy up close, but clearer as the horizon is approached. Adding Perylene Green to my palette, I painted the distant trees, with the furthermost ones in Yellow Ochre and Raw Sienna.
For the past year I have used predominantly palettes knives for my paintings, but so far on this one all I had used were brushes, leaving my painting knives in their pouch. I’m not sure why I picked up a brush instead of a knife, but I did and I’m happy with the results. Using a wisp brush, I streaked the blur of the gray and white asphalt across the canvas. The shell of the mirror was initially only Payne’s Gray, but later I added highlights using Titanium White and Graphite Gray.
Now looking into the mirror, I used Magenta with some Cyan for the body of the car and adding highlights by slowly putting down layers of glazing.
Finally, the highway we just left behind and the stripe down the road and approaching vehicles.
One last thing that is always visible in the passenger side mirror: Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear.
These two perspectives with the mirror are like life. You know exactly where you have been, with hopefully clear and sharp memories of the past. For your future, you can only guess where life will take you, but those guesses of what that journey will look like will always be a bit blurry.