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Sunday, April 29, 2012

What was on the easel now off the easel and on display in Texas galleries...available for purchase.

 A gentleman asked me recently, on my Facebook page, if I ever produce paintings I'm not happy with. This same question, voiced in different ways, is one I've heard many times. The implied idea is, "Your paintings are all so good, surely, you don't struggle like the rest of us when it comes to creating a good painting." That idea, voiced by other want-to-be artists, is far from reality. When teaching, students are amazed when I wipe something out. Up to that moment, they thought I painted with absolute confidence, sureness of concept, and accurate execution. In a way, it gives them a boost of confidence about their own work as they consider the truth..."Oh, he makes mistakes too."

Color study  -  4.5"x 4.5"  -  Oil on paper

Rural Winter  -  14"x 14"  -  Oil on canvas

Collectors approach the same idea from a slightly different perspective. Since they've never tried to paint, they often look upon the artist as super gifted...therefore it all comes so naturally and easy for us. That too is a false assumption.
I say all that to say this. These two paintings were so far from easy, it is hard to explain how I fretted over them during all my waking hours until they were birthed and I looked upon these children and could say, "I am pleased with you." Many times areas were scraped down and repainted. At times I wanted to just quit and give up (abort them, heaven forbid) but I had to keep telling myself, "You have to stick with it, figure this out, somehow resolve those areas you're not happy with." I'd say the paintings took three times longer than they should have. 

Only in Winter  -  18"x 18"  -  Oil on canvas

So, my answer to the gentleman mentioned above was, "I do not put paintings out in the marketplace that I am not happy with, but that does not mean they are all great paintings. I guess others will decide just how good these paintings are. I'm still recovering from the labor and birth.

What is it that hinders the smooth, progressive creation of a painting? Well, apart from emotional issues (how we're feeling on a particular day can play a small part), the major hindrances can always be traced back to the same old principles: clarity of concept, composition, drawing, values, color, technique...and insufficient preliminary work. Rural Winter was pretty much created from imagination, so I had to imagine how the scene would appear in winter. Imaginative works always seem to take longer to least for me. Another area of great struggle was creating a convincing relationship of trees to sky. This area was probably repainted five or six times. I had pretty good reference for Only in Winter, except for the background, tree in sunlight, and mother pulling her son on the sled. My mistake here was not doing any preliminary work, so all the successes and failures were created right there on the canvas...put down and rubbed out until it was correct.

If you're interested in purchasing either of these paintings, here's how:

Rural Winter, please contact Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art
Only in Winter, may be purchased through Southwest Gallery

You may remember these two paintings when they were first introduced in an earlier blog titled: What's on the Easel. You might want to read that for background.

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