As the acrylic painting began to develop, the color became more intense than in the photo. That saturation seemed to come from the other-worldly feeling I had in this spot. It also was a way to emphasize the hole in the rock, and the mountain behind it.
I also enjoy the unusual red flowers in the foreground, flowers I have been unable to identify. If anyone knows what they are, please let me know!
Working on this painting gave me insight into why I have often insisted that I am not a realist. At some point in my process, the painting became much more important to me than its subject, and the success of the painting required that the color, even the exact shape of the rock be changed. For example, without that "bite" I took out of the upper right corner of the rock, the space was unclear, and the hole harder to understand.
My completed painting, an acrylic, 40" x 30", titled "Near Minturn", is below.