Friday, January 08, 2010


Anatomy of a painting 7

The next morning (that is, this morning) we were up before sunrise, some difficult family issues keeping us both from sleeping very well. So once we were awake, there was no going back. But, this morning I was happy to be up early, waiting for the sun to rise, so I could get back to work on the painting. I really couldn't wait.

After being away from it for a while, the first look is important - I immediately see what needs to happen next. Variations in the clouds, some of the whites softened, the ocean finished, and those odd little tiny areas that need a bit more attention before the whole thing feels balanced and right. The clouds de-anthropomorphized just a bit. At this point I am no longer referring to any visual aids. I haven't for some time. It's now all about what the painting itself needs. Because the painting is not, after all, the scene itself. It's an object I've constructed, showing something about how I feel about a place, and I can make any changes I wish, to enhance that feeling. A liberating thing.

I removed a few small marks in the water that kept catching my attention, not in a good way. And I took a big brush and softened things up a bit around the edges. And made some other very minor adjustments. I had lunch and came back again to look one more time. And changed one more tiny thing. Then, done.

All told, it took about six hours yesterday and three today, not counting the time getting situated and arranging my palette and actually doing every other little thing I suddenly had to do before I just picked up a brush and just started already, for god's sake.

I'm happy with this one. It feels the way I felt when I was there. I took a break - went to the post office to mail a book (an Amazon sale), checked the mailbox again (no book). Then, since my paint was all out anyway, and I had a lot on my palette still - don't want to waste it - I started the next one. I only got in the underdrawing and a few basic colors before dark, so it's still pretty rough. But it has some life to it. Tomorrow will be good, no matter what the day brings.

Thank for showing us how you paint. Very interesting.
And yes I read from the bottom up.
Thanks for checking in - I appreciate it!
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