Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Death and Resurrection of a Painting

Ah, starting a piece out in the open air, or in the case of this one - sweltering heat. Anyway the experience of starting fresh, slapping paint around, and making sudden decisions based on the visual stimuli of a new surrounding can be so exhilarating. Sometimes though, during the ride home in the trunk of your car that expression of exhilaration wilts. Once you are home and recovered from heat exhaustion, while relaxing you observe your work from across the room, perched on it's little easel and you realize it may not be a "keeper". But you keep it around with the hope that you can breath new life into it. The decision can be a tough one - when to stop trying, call it an unsatisfactory attempt and paint over it.
This painting was begun at a local plein air workshop. The instructor's critique was "Well, It's not your best work". Which I knew was true, but I also knew that it was incomplete.
I'm glad I didn't give up on this one. Now it is a complete statement. That sand path draws me right out into the water where I would have liked to jump in and cool off.
"100+ In The Shade" , Oil on 16x20 gallery wrap canvas.

Floating by, enjoying the water was this alligator/shark/stick. But he's not the reason I didn't get in.


Mark Alan Meader said...

Yes.. I see you changed the path a bit to lead right into the water. The luxury of being a painter! I'm not familiar enough to know if it's your "best work", but very nice indeed, to me. I like it and your style very much.

Patrick said...

Jill, i think you made the good decision. I really like the composition and i love the colors you made.

Karen said...

SO good that you didn't get rid of it. I had one of these experiences too recently, but unfortunately I think my later work on the painting only made it worse. :(

I love the vitality here, and it's really instructive to see how you changed bits of the original scene to create your composition.

Brayton Homestead Interiors said...

Yout paintings are beautiful and I love your statement of preserving nature one painting at a time!

Jill Berry said...

"photo guys" - Thanks so much for your comments.
You know, when I posted this location photo I seriously thought "why don't you take that back and level that crooked horizon in photoshop". That IS one thing I know how to do. But as you probably noticed I got lazy. Sorry if I made a photographer cringe.

Jill Berry said...

Karen, I appreciate the vitality note. I have certainly painted my fair share pass the point of no return.

Joan Sicignano Artist said...

I am so happy to find your blog, thanks to Nancy Medina. Your Plein Air paintings are beautiful. Just received my traveling Monet easel. All set to get out there and paint. Happy painting!

Lynda Lehmann said...

I'm glad you worked on it some more. It has a lovely light permeating, and it's an alluring scene I would love to enter, even on a hot day.

What do instructors know anyway, lol...They are not always the final word.

I hope you showed the finished piece to him. If you did, I'm sure he would have approved! It's lovely!!!