This past summer I focused on buttercups in tall green grass. I have been attracted to this motif since the mid-1950s. There is no perfect solution. If I settle for the tone differences, the green becomes dead. If I settle for the correct light, I don’t have the tonal difference and the painting becomes conventional. This summer, I transposed the green from the actual color green to a hot yellow-green. I had never done this before. It gave me the tone difference and the all-over light of the field. I was nervous about the yellow-green, but friends liked it. When this painting makes a public appearance, I don’t expect very many people to understand my problem, or my solution, or the difficulty in executing it. Actually, I suppose things haven’t changed for me that much in that area since the 1950s.

The challenge for me has been to paint a painting that could elicit the ...

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