I’ve been working on this picture for the last week. It’s a 30 x 40 inch acrylic painting of the old garden. And it’s almost finished. I seem to be going left to right so the whole vertical right side comes next.
Nonetheless it’s kind of a prototype for this motif because I have another version in mind too.
The first painted sketch I made for it was called “the little garden” so I guess the version above shall be considered “the big garden. Little Garden is here:
The large flower wall has been thoroughly blocked in, and now I have to bring the individual parts into greater clarity. At the same time I don’t want to spoil the element of abstraction, the aspect of the painting that suggests forms. I want to suggest more than to describe, though my natural way of thinking is descriptive.
I learning to look at the painting itself more to gain a sense of how to go forward. I waver between the pull of the motif and the needs of the picture to stand on its own.
I made the version that’s light and airy (the previous post). Then I wondered how it might look at the other end of day. So I made this version.
I have a list of things to work on and I was supposed to be working my list. But then I got an idea about this motif, and it seemed like something that I should do instead.
Sometimes I seem to be dreaming while awake.
This is a beginning of something or other. Not sure where it’s going — only that it’s light.
Some of the landscapes I’ve been painting are just scenes without any special significance. And this landscape began that way. However, as I keep tinkering with it, the scene begins to suggest something to me. I don’t know what it is. A memory? Some hidden meaning?
While I was tinkering, I made a drawing.
The little yellow tree used to take up more space, as in the drawing. But I decided to make it smaller. And somehow that works better. But I don’t know why. Not in terms of naturalism, but just as meaning. Or so it seems.
This garden measures 34 x 28 inches. It’s more difficult to photograph properly than usual because the canvas itself is out of square slightly and then the camera adds its own curve distortion. But these photographs are ones I’m using for tracking. Later I will rephotograph all the paintings using a better camera.
Anyway, hopefully this painting makes sense of its reference drawing that I posted last week. The relationship between drawing and painting is much clearer now. The drawing was very abstract; this painting is still very abstract (and may remain so – I’m not sure), but things begin to emerge from the roiling curved forms. I am really pleased with the painting. Sometimes a picture will start to delight you as you are painting and this one went that way.
There’s a line near the top that runs the picture’s length horizontally. That marks the boundary that conforms to the reference photo I used. The picture is in the same ratio as the photograph inside that boundary. The bit of canvas above it is invention. I left the line up to this point so that I could more easily make drawing changes to the main part of the image. But I can cover the line up now because I know that none of the changes I’m likely to make going forward will profit by knowing where that boundary falls.
The preparatory drawing that I posted previously can be found here:
I liked the first version a lot and thus was reluctant to have another whack at it right away. And there’s nothing wrong with that: I had plenty of other things to keep me busy.
But it’s undergone another swipe. I still like it. And I still think it needs some further something, though I’m not sure what that something is, so once again I’m briefly setting it aside while I contemplate my next move.
The earlier version is visible here:
The painting measures 36 x 18 inches.
I decided to let loose with the paint over pretty much the whole scene. It has different colors with a slightly different ratio of sky to land and other changes of a “bustin’ loose” sort. This acrylic painting on canvas panel measures 18 x 14 inches.
I like it a lot better than before. I knew I would do this at some point, repaint it using a loaded brush. I just didn’t know when I’d do it. And now I’ve done it.
The earlier version is here:
I like my crazy little color studies for up-coming largish landscapes. This one measures 13.5 x 9 inches. Unfortunately they are nearly impossible to photograph properly. They are hard to “read,” as it is, their whole raison d’etre being color. Que sera sera. What is most interesting about the study — the character of the color relationships — is also the feature that causes the photography challenge, that and Mother Nature’s grey mantle this morning, and my general naivety about the technical aspects of photography.
Later on, when it really matters, I’ll have to rephotograph all the finished works (not the studies). I just post the studies and the work in progress stuff as a record for myself and hopefully as entertainment for my internet friends.
The study is painted using acrylic paints on unstretched canvas primed with clear acrylic.
An earlier crazy little color study was posted here:
I’m working on the left side of a landscape that I posted previously in its first swipe. It’s kind of the “messy middle” of the process. I put down ideas. They’re kind of raw. It takes a while for things to gel. But it’s just direct painting. And I don’t expect anything to materialize right at once.
Here’s the preliminary drawing
Here’s the first swipe