On our trips up to the Okanagan, Cheri and I often come across old derelict vehicles hidden away in the many orchards along the drive. My latest painting ‘Nash Harvest’ depicts this scene. This 1930 Nash was found in a Pear orchard in Keremeos BC in early summer while the pears were just beginning to mature.
The 1930 Nash was a car with industry leading innovations of its time. These cars ran with a twin-Ignition, overhead valve 299-cubic inch straight-eight engine that produced a smooth hundred horsepower. The cars rode on a longer wheelbase than competitors, had synchronized transmissions, including automatic centralized chassis lubrication, and had an adjustable ride (set from the dashboard). They were successfully designed to look like luxury cars, and perhaps that was part of the key to their popularity even through the Depression. They provided high quality, durability, and the look of luxury at a relatively low price. Nash’s slogan from the late 1920s and 1930s was “Give the customer more than he has paid for” and the cars lived up to it.
Part of my eagerness to paint this scene was due to the difficulty of creating a painting with this large amount of the colour green. Green can be a challenge for an artist to use without it becoming ghastly and overpowering. An excerpt from James Gurney’s book Color and Light states that ‘evidently this was a problem even 150 years ago when Ashur Brown Durand commented on “the common prejudice against green.” He said, “I can well understand why it has been denounced by the Artist, for no other colour is attended with equal embarrassments.” Durand chided his contemporaries for painting so many autumn scenes instead of summer ones to avoid the problem altogether. ‘
This painting was a great challenge in creating values of green that remain warm and inviting while still creating many subtle variations of the colour to create depth. I also like seeing this warm green and its natural compliment, the rusty purple red of the car, together in a limited palette. I think these two values work nicely together and I am very proud of how this painting has turned out.
Thank you for your continued interest in my work!