Monday, January 1, 2018

New Work: Renewal, oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches

New Work: Renewal, oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches

This oil is all about putting paint down to create patterns and surfaces. The color is a big part but I was more focused on keeping things fresh and letting the brushwork show.

As soon the painting began to develop I became enamored of the delicacy in the foreground trees. I began to build a painting around them, using simple bands of color elsewhere. all of the other elements were in place, it became apparent that each required a light touch of their own. That's not to say that I lightly painted everything in and it just worked on the first try. There are a lot of paint layers here from good intentions, false starts and some dead ends.

Regardless, each attempt had merit and I have learned to allow a little bit of those trials to show through. Rather than paint completely over the sky, water or band of trees, I used the previous work as an underpainting. Those remnants of color and edges provided more complexity and interest.

Of course that requires a lot of back and forth, but that is how the painting gets better. This oil was finished three times, or so I kept thinking. When I viewed the 'finished' oil the next day in the studio, my memory of the painting collided with the real thing on the easel and not in a good way, but that's ok. The time away from the oil allowed me to see it more objectively so I could clearly identify what was lacking and consider different solutions to make it better.

Now that this oil is finished, I miss the challenge this painting presented but there are other starts in the studio with delightful potential, patiently waiting their turn.

This is my first work of the new year and as I was putting on the final touches, the name Renewal came to mind. It implies a lot of things and the thought of it keeps us flexible.

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