Dolomites - Portrait of the Pale Mountains

Exhibition at the Alpine Club, London, 8 November 2016 - 5 March 2017


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Whereas my previous Alpine Club show in 2012 was very much about snow and ice, in this exhibition I focus squarely on rock…with a touch of snow because I love it.

The beautiful and complicated rock of the eastern Dolomites has provided a wealth of interest and technical challenge for my painting over the last 18 months. What the Dolomites lack in height they more than make up for in design. Unusual formations and the colour-changing qualities of the rock produce intense imagery when combined with sparkling light and the dramatic weather of the area. This unique geology  together with rich shadows, undulating topography (and occasional snow) have proved irresistible if difficult and has excited my painting abilities beyond expectation.

Exploring in the months of May and September I was lucky to see this wonderful terrain in all weathers. My main objective was to collect the material I require to work with in the studio, so on-site paintings in watercolour and acrylic together with colour notes and scribbles in paint and pencil, questionable photos and wobbly video all played a part. Staying overnight in mountain Rifugios ensured unforgettable adventures and afforded the opportunity to experience some magnificent colours at sunrise and sunset. When Dolomite rock is lit up by the rising or sinking sun, the whole landscape appears to be on fire.

However, the main star of this show is the rock itself. Its myriad hues of grey and earthy brown through pinks, siennas, subtle blues and violets and an ability to alter colour under the fast changing light, is truly remarkable and a sight to behold.

I have thoroughly enjoyed discovering and getting to know these unique and extraordinary  ‘pale mountains’  through painting.


© Rowan Huntley 2017  email: