My trips to The Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway have harvested some great reference material to use in my studio work; the composition i used for Winter Clearing is one of my favorites. The numerous scraggly bushes, twisted trees, and killer colors are warming to my soul in the cold of winter, and i am hopelessly drawn to their power.
I have been gearing up to paint more in larger format and i feel this view of the fields, through the bushes and trees and on to the background hills, lends itself well to a larger forum to do its speaking.
Something occurred during this painting that i wasn't expecting though..... the scene depicted here was actually a bit overcast. While putting pigment to panel, i found myself using colors that would indicate a brighter day, and strangely enough i found it working for me... so i just went with it. This brings up an interesting thought: At what point does a painter recognize that something is working or not working? And what do you do with that? This leads to the big question....when is a painting finished?
I think it's critical to be self-aware; but that is not enough.... One has to be able to trust their own instincts, and then confidently act upon them. That might include shutting it down before a painting gets overworked. It might also mean that you revisit a painting after a period of time with a fresh set of eyes.
I know i'm not alone, when i say it's a struggle knowing when a painting is finished. It might be the hardest thing about painting, but no one can tell us when a painting is finished. That is part of the struggle and learning and growing process that must take place from within and will ultimately make us better painters for it.
I will never claim to be a great draftsman when it comes to painting. I will never have all my i's dotted and t's crossed. The important things i want to show up in my work are emotion, depth, texture, and passion. And, i think that's why people connect with art. They acquire a connection deep in their soul, with a certain piece of art, and that's when the inferno begins.