Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Trying to Finish a Painting

So this is how it happens...
for me, when I'm working at a painting.
Around two years ago, I started a painting that was based on an image from one of my old issues of National Geographic.
I was drawn to the geometry of the various fields and how, aside from a central building, the landscape colors were shades of yellow and green.
I had been painting for a few months when I began this, 
and my lack of confidence led me to make this rigid recreation of the photographic image.
And what was with my foreground field....
it's falling off the canvas!
I felt frustrated because I didn't know how to improve it.
I set it aside.
Months later, I came back to the painting thinking that my skills had developed enough to address the problems.
I was wrong.
I did adjust some of the colors to create a greater sense of depth, and I toned the building which was feeling conspicuously out of place.
Building still out of place and foreground field still weird.
I set it aside.
Months later, I came back to the painting.
I did make some changes that I feel were in the right direction, like the adjustments to the large yellow field in the background.
the foreground field still felt like it wanted to slide off the canvas.
The building continued to irritate me, so I began to obliterate it.
What was I doing with the cypress trees around my pesky building?!
I turned them into gigantor trees.
I set it aside.
The painting has been hanging in my hallway for almost a year, and last week I looked at it and said,
"All right, you and I are finishing this battle once and for all."
This time I stopped looking at the National Geographic photo and changed some of the colors according to what I intuitively wanted instead of what a picture was dictating. 
I reigned in the cypress and blurred the background.
That pesky building?
I think it's done.

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