The most dangerous time in my
painting process is the finishing stage. That last hour or so when I need to
decide what to leave in and what to take out. The time of final corrections,
the addition of highlights and accents that can only be added at this stage.
When I reach this point, strange as
it sounds, I find I’m not seeing the painting as a whole presentation anymore.
After working intensely for hours, my focus has slowly shifted to the
individual elements and I could be heading for trouble. I have to force myself
to stop, put the brush down and leave my studio for awhile. And often that
isn’t easy. I’m tired and I want to finish. “Just one more stroke. Let me fix
that spot, etc.” ….. Here comes trouble.
A successful painting is a sum of
all it’s elements all working together, balancing and complementing each other.
All working together to support the story line or focal point. When you begin
to concentrate on each element separately you risk throwing the whole painting
off balance. A few times I have gone beyond the point of no return and had no
choice but to wipe the whole painting away. Frustrating! Especially when it had
a good start and I just couldn’t stop fiddling.
Now I try to keep reminding myself
of what my painting is about and ask if the element I am working on is
important or a distraction. Discipline!
The most important element in your studio.
Three quotes that I read a long
time ago and need to bear in mind.
“A painting is finished when you have simplified or
taken out all you can.”
“If it looks good, leave it alone. Trying to make it
better never works.”
in stages lets the paint dry and your brain rest.”
And yes, I have been painting today. Can you tell?
Our Virtual Paint Out Group is visiting south Florida this month, the area below Interstate 75, otherwise known as Alligator Alley. I have started a larger painting of Biscayne Bay but haven't had time to work on it. So today I painted a small version of a scene on Naples Beach. I plan on doing a larger one of that area, too. I really enjoy painting palm trees, why, I don't know. Maybe because they are so graceful and carefree. And maybe because I recall watching them blow and sway outside our windows in Florida. Anyway - here is my quick study for today.