Leonardo da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

--Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, June 8, 2012

Make it, Break it, Make it Again

Pumpkin Patch Barn
If you are a painter, i am sure that you have experienced the ugly stage of a painting. For those of you who are not painters; there is usually a time during the painting where the whole thing just looks like a mess and you may not even be able to tell where in the world you are going with it. This phenomenon occurs to me from time to time and this little guy was no exception.
I use the make it, break it, then make it again rule, and for me it's a matter of just getting enough paint on the panel until the majority of the piece is full and i am really able to work the entire surface; much like shifting into fourth gear and cruising to the finish line.
When i put down the brush with this piece, like with many of my paintings, i still wasn't sure it was completely finished. My initial thought was to have more of a sky painting, but that green field kept creepin' up on me. As you can see the 1/3 design came to be.
At first i was not satisfied with the outcome, which is pretty typical for me, but after i step away for a day or two, i view it with fresh eyes and suddenly i like it. I know many of you know what i am talking about.
The whole painting thought process is quite intense and very focused. The, can't see the forest through the trees, thing becomes my reality when painting. And believe it or not, i view that as a good thing. It tells me, i'm searching for values, shapes, colors and lines. Add emotion to the mix and POOF, its almost like David Copperfield making chocolate chips appear with the wave of his hand. You don't know how it happened, but there it is.


  1. Congratulations on the sale of this little gem, Michael. I agree, the painter has to have patience. I read a statistic once that was remarkable. It was something like 90 % of "new" oil painters will give up oil painting within 12 months never to return. It seems such a shame, but my guess is that many of them are giving up because they don't understand the "ugly stage" and getting unduly discouraged. I'm sure this lovely painting had a couple incarnations..and I just love where it wound up.

  2. Well there's an ugly stage with acrylics too Celeste and more often with watercolors with me.

    --When you were writing this post Michael, I was probably wringing my hands over the landscape I have on my easel; I was in the depths of OMG that's ugly. So I went to lunch. I figured there's always gesso. An hour later on first sight, I knew there's was a painting emerging for that mess.

    Your lovely painting show none of the pain it went through during the process. A favorite saying of mine is: "out of chaos comes order." Your chaos came out quite in order.

  3. Lindy!!! Lol :-) Chocolate chips magically appearing....thats a moment I wont soon forget my friend...such good times! Awesome post my friend!!!

  4. I'm glad you stopped when you did. I love the way you've captured the wind in the painting.