"This painting is actually the upgraded version of
the "Round Mountain" oil painting originally completed in
2006. It is the "left half" of an almost diptych (painting
in two-parts) of a vista of Castle Valley, Utah (east of
Moab) . It is an almost-diptych because both "halves" are
viewed from slightly different elevations and the right half
slightly overlaps the left. It was revised because a 5/8" x
5/8" divot was made in the sky by a careless gallery worker
scraping off the paint (many glazed layers) all the way down
to the raw canvas! So, to rehab the painting, I had to build
up the hole to the level of the surrounding paint and then
re-paint the entire sky. Since this is an almost-diptych I
also had to repaint the sky of the "right-half"
Tower" painting as well!! The reason I couldn’t just patch
the hole was because it was down to raw canvas and because
the glazes couldn’t be exactly duplicated so would never
quite match—unacceptable. an opaque painted surface looks
quite different than a glazed surface. Unfortunately or
fortunately as it turned out, an opaque paint was what was
needed to fix the hole and re-do the skies for the two
paintings. So I mixed up a large batch of thick paint and
redid both skies in a 90 minute session. The new skies were
much brighter and of course, opaque, so that necessitated
certain changes in the back and mid-ground as well. Studying
the problem I decided to punch-up the drama. I broke up the
skyline with clouds and added low clouds-ground mists to the
mid-ground. So, now the original paintings of "Round
Mountain" and "Castle Tower" no longer exist. They have
morphed into "Round Mountain 2.0" and "Castle Tower 2.0".
The original images exist only as pigment prints (giclées).
And, I am very happy with the new versions!! It changed the
mood of the paintings and reminds me of a time living in a
trailer on the top of the cliff overlooking Castle Valley
(and Castle Tower and Round Mountain) drilling for uranium.
I was perched on our 25’ high drill rig looking out into
Castle Valley watching a thunderstorm approach. What a
fantastic scene! One of many I saw from our claims on Wilson
Mesa east of Moab, Utah."
R. Geoffrey Blackburn