Sunday, February 15, 2015

Staying True

Footprints ©T Grillo Laird - oil 18x24 -sold

Here is a painting I completed a few weeks ago. It's popularity since I posted it, has surprised me. The first surprise was when it sold the morning after I posted it. I then posted it on an artist's site and was taken by surprise again by how well it has been received. 

I tried to analyze it. Is it the title? The colors? The mood? The paint? Then it occurred to me that in painting it, I held true to the working method that for me seems to produce results closest to what I was aiming for. Ignoring all conventional wisdom and restrictive rules about how outdoor painting is practiced, I just painted in the way I've done outdoor paintings for the past 20 years. I took my 18x24 canvas out to the dunes near my house and looked and painted. When the light changed, I packed up and took it out again the next day. And the day after that. One day I didn't like the results and scraped it all down just to begin again on my next session in the dunes. When I was finished I took it home and studied it. I made a few adjustments where a line was too strong or a spot in the background wasn't receding enough. I studied it some more then called it done. Of course no painting is ever done. It's just brought to a point where it can be left alone.

I do enjoy painting those loose sketchy paintings that I start and finish in one two hour session on site. The results are often fresh and unexpected, but most of the time I'm left wishing I had developed an idea a bit further.

I think that when I manage to shut out all the clamorous voices telling me how I must paint, and I listen to my own inner voice, I am again the happy serene painter I started out as when I was a young child.

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