Monday, March 25, 2013

A Season of Renewal

Soon I'll be returning home after a year's absence. In this past year of  visiting home only infrequently, I've come to realize that I truly do like my Florida life. I'm excited to be getting back to painting and to the teaching I had put aside.

Little Sabine Bay - oil on canvas - 18x28
This painting, Little Sabine Bay, represents an earlier new start in my life that is also centered around Florida. It was the first painting I did in Pensacola, where I moved ten years ago after the loss of my life companion and painting partner. We had painted together for years often working on the same canvas. After his passing, I knew he didn't want me to stop painting, but I just couldn't pick my brushes up. Finally, a year later, I was ready. I felt like he was painting right through me as I worked. Effects appeared under my brush that I couldn't have produced for trying. Little Sabine Bay was both the first painting I did in Pensacola and the first painting I did with the  Plein Air Painters of Pensacola. I've never wanted to sell it.
Now I'm about to embark on a fresh start again with a renewed appreciation for my home and life and for this art life I've been gifted with. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Problem Solved

I've been away for the past couple of weeks enjoying my bi-monthly visit with my husband in this most crazy of years. The weather in Florida was constant torrential rain and painting my beloved dunes was impossible.
I came back home to this painting, that I thought was finished two weeks ago but still wasn't satisfying me.

I had been studying it trying to figure out why it didn't have the sense of immenseness I felt when I hiked the trail that spectacular day. Somehow the canyon seemed miniaturized. Also, the glowing red rocks which were the inspiration for the painting, had lost their significance.
I thought a cropping might be in order. Look what happens when the sky is cropped out.

Now the walls rise around the viewer as they did in reality and the red rocks and path have prominence again. Here is another cropped option.

It's not quite as radical but I didn't like the shape on the top left. Then I noticed the pale color of the sky just above the rocks on the right and a light bulb went off.  The value of the sky was wrong!  And the bright blue color was competing with the red rocks. Here is the final painting that just barely escaped the knife. I'm happy now. What do you think?

On Kaibab Trail - oil on canvas - 16x20
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