Monday, June 25, 2012

Helen's Pine

 Helen's Pine
Oil on Canvas 10" x 8.5"
Private Collection

This small and simple picture was inspired by a pine tree situated very close to my studio. I walk past this area all the time,  coming and going many hours of the day. At a certain moment in the afternoon,  the light falls on this otherwise nondescript tree,  and it comes alive.

Summer is usually a challenging time to paint outdoors. The light is harsher and more direct,  it is usually very hot,  and unfriendly insects are abundant. The biggest difficulty is the unmitigated greenness of everything in nature. My aim was to create sufficient variations of color, so that my picture wouldn't bombard the viewer with green.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Seascape, Update

Here is a good example of a "stalled" picture. This kind of picture may start out well, and as it develops, we begin to see things we don't like or didn't envision.

In my case, there is something a little too "precious" about this picture in its current state. At the moment, I'm not positive as to the reasons. Maybe it is the time of day, or perhaps the colors are exaggerated in a certain way. Since this is a studio project, I will put it aside until I'm ready to revisit it.

This is not a unique situation. I used to try to fight through painting blocks. Sometimes it was successful, but it was a brute force method. These efforts were intense, and could lead to burnout.

There are smarter ways to revive a picture that is in a coma. Sometimes we grow so accustomed to looking at a picture from the same vantage point, that we miss obvious flaws. Viewing the picture turned upside down, or backwards using a mirror often helps.

It can be comforting to know that other artists have been in the same situation before. Looking at works by other masters will sometimes reveal solutions.

In my case, I'm simply going to give it some time.