Sometimes You Get Lost
Paul and I were on a fall trip in West Virginia where there was as bed of beautiful Ornamental Cabbage mixed with Purple Pansies in front of the hotel. I don’t know if you have seen these before, but they do well in colder temps, maturing in late fall making a spectacular sight. I became entranced. It does require enthusiasm to tackle subjects that are extremely difficult to paint. Adding a couple of layers of leaves along with rows of petals requires great concentration just to verify you are adding the right detail to the right petal or leaf. Hours went into this painting initially and then, after all of that, it wasn’t right. I couldn’t see what to do, became frustrated and quit. That was good thing.
When painting something complicated, like these flowers, break them down in a simple shape. For example, these flowers take on a bowl like shape. Even more unusual, circular leaves grew outwards from the flowers. My confusion started when choosing to paint a dominantly green leaf, I shaded the white on the leaf first and then added the green on top later. Apparently I forgot the plan. This good idea instead distorted the shape of the flower atrociously. Discovering the photographs recently, it became clear that adding dark descriptive shapes over the “atrocious shape” would turn it into a leaf and bring it back to its bowl like shape. It was exciting to see my effort become worthwhile with just a few changes. I call this getting cold on a painting. Sometimes you get lost, and when your emotional attachment gets lowered, at that point, you can look at a piece with fresh eyes.
Have you been to the Underbrush Gallery in Fargo? The owners are great, very knowledgeable about art and have excellent customer service. They also carry my original paintings and giclee reproductions. Their hours are 10:00am – 2:00pm Monday –Friday or by appointment 701-235-2228 | 1450 25th Street South, Fargo, ND