Sunset Mountain

My Brightest Fire

A fire in the sky reflecting the brightest fire that is my soul. My heartfelt inspiration to paint and to create the world I see in my mind’s eye. The world, in which I live, my world of shape, shadow, color. The hours I stand at my easel, painting, scraping, repainting, searching for that one moment… one moment I wish to share with you.

And so it begins anew, a challenging new canvas and another day of inspired painting. I am emboldened by the camaraderie I experience, as I share my current canvas with my close-knit circle of painters practicing in our local arts community.

My current landscape entitled, Sunset Mountain, provides me with new challenges in color, design and perspective. Once again, I create a mountain scene with roiling clouds. This time, I present a sunset showcasing brilliant, golden orange.

A refreshed approach to painting has taken place with this scene: Sunset Mountain, began as a palette knife painting. Its unique beginnings were inspired by the doodling of my mentor’s toddler which were executed on an Ipad. Studying the loose, playful lines of an adventurous, unknown artist, under the age of two years old, gave rise to my idea of getting playful and drawing like a kid again.

To refresh and simplify, I began Sunset Mountain by reaching for my favorite, well worn, palette knife, size fifty seven, to lay down the bold dark lines and shapes that anchor this image’s simple design. I employed a limited palette of burnt umber, ultramarine blue and titanium white to create a simple, tonal under painting.

In the second stage of this painting, I introduced cadmium yellow light and alizarin crimson permanent to work up subtle, muted colors. Areas of warm and cool light in this landscape are amplified by a change up in palette that includes the introduction of viridian, cobalt blue, cadmium yellow medium and a touch of cadmium red.

As I continue to build layers of paint, I find myself alternating between my favorite brushes and my faithful palette knife, blending and scraping, more scraping and then repainting, building up layers, to take them down again. Playful, yet intent, I contemplate nature, in its simplicity and its complexity.

In the hours of exploration unfolding at my easel, I find, I can only focus on this painter’s wish… to capture one fleeting moment in time and to share it with you.

Thank you for visiting with me in my Artist’s Journal, On The Easel. I truly enjoy sharing the story of my current landscape entitled, Sunset Mountain, with you. Article images are details from Sunset Mountain, 12 inches by 16 inches, oil on canvas.

Sunset Mountain, Sawtell Peak, Idaho by Karen LaFontaine
Sunset Mountain, Sawtell Peak Idaho 12 x 16 inches oil on canvas

Be well, Karen LaFontaine

Message Karen at her art studio:

To enjoy more posts about mountain scenes, visit my Artist Journal, On The Easel:

Share this post...


Recent Posts

Artist's Journal Quote by Karen LaFontaine October 2022

Rose Painting

Today is a magically wonderful day in my art studio. I am laser focused on my subject, immersed in the rhythm of painting a single …

Read More →
Magnolia Little Gem Karen LaFontaine

Magnolia Little Gem

A Georgia Garden Beauty At the start of our spring gardening season, some twenty years ago, my husband planted a new tree in our backyard. …

Read More →
Twilight Karen LaFontaine Artist's Journal On The Easel


I cherish my time in my painting studio at day’s end. The daylight is fading and there remains just a bit of twilight to illuminate …

Read More →
Butterfly Wings Artist's Journal On The Easel

Butterfly Wings

Such Beautiful Things Among my new oil paintings this summer, Passion Butterfly Tango, which showcases the fleeting beauty of one of the South’s long-winged and …

Read More →
Seven Pipers Running by Karen LaFontaine on exhibit at The Hudgens Center

A Story Worth Sharing

A Seashore Inspired Painting The story of my oil painting Seven Pipers Running is unique. The creation of this eighteen by twenty four inch canvas …

Read More →
Detail Bee Happy by Karen LaFontaine for Artist's Journal

Bee Happy This Fall!

A Sunflower Portrait The spectacular beauty of our fall season is increasingly abundant with each passing day. Renewed energy and good cheer ushered in by …

Read More →
Scroll to Top