Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trying Again

The original photo

Version 1 "Lingering Rays"

Version 2 "Before Dusk"

I subscribe to Canadian painter Robert Genn's blog "The Painter's Keys" and today's posting set the tone of my day. He advised taking one of your typical works and repeating it in different styles: impressionistic, realistic, primitive etc. and also trying new methods for dealing with edges, contrast, detail and so on.

I didn't have a definite painting in mind this morning so I was open to his suggestion. I repeated a work that I'd already done once but did it in a more abstract style. It's from a late winter afternoon when the sun is just lighting one distant part of an otherwise shadowy landscape. The photo keeps calling me back because it has everything that I like: back lighting, long foreground and lots of blue. I think it's blue that made a painter of me because I'm so crazy about it.

Before settling on this final painting, I did 2 more: one brighter and more detailed with thickly applied paint and purer colours and one which had much more gray and only a few hints of impasto colour. Neither one suited me and I rubbed them off. But I didn't want to end the day with nothing to show for it so I tried one more time. This time I used thinner paint and muted the colours a lot. Parts of the work look almost like watercolour in their simplicity. I focused on getting the rhythm of the landscape in as few marks as possible and on not tinkering and painting over areas too often. There are layers but they're kept to the minimum that the painting seemed to need. It's a minimalistic painting but I'm pleased with it.

I've posted the piece as well as the first version that I did of it a few months ago and the photo reference.

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