After a back injury, unable to golf or walk any distance, I found myself in an art supply store in 2000. I was visiting Santa Barbara and couldn't do any of the things I normally loved to do. I picked up some oil pastels, and proceeded to paint a sad interpretation of my hotels beautiful courtyard. My best efforts couldn't release the image I had in my mind's eye. I was baffled, but excited.
Back in Rhode Island I found a drawing class at the Community Center where I lived in Jamestown. It was taught by a wonderful patient man, Jim Filkins, and that restarted my journey into the formal study of art, after a hiatus of many years. I told myself it wasn't too late.
From a sketchbook dated 2/06/01:
We worked in graphite and one of the exercises was this:
Set up a series of shapes, make some overlap and some transparent. Make it look like there are layers in the way you lay down the graphite.
We had learned to make a 1-9 value scale and now we were learning that darker values recede. Rendering those values could create an illusion and that would be an important skill to acquire when we did landscapes. We learned some basic principles of landscape too; higher contrast in the foreground denotes its' closeness to the viewer. A blurred and softened horizon indicates the distance.
For this exercise, it was not about perspective; but gaining experience with flat shapes and design.