Sunday, February 1, 2015

What Is the Point ?

Shoreline Curve - ©T Grillo Laird - 14x18 oil
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In the four years that the Bagdad, Florida Annual Paintout has been going on, I've participated three times. In the first year of the fledgling event, I received third place for Bagdad Boathouse. My goal that day had been merely to finish within the allotted 3 hours, since I was participating in my first ever paint-out. Naturally, I was delighted with the win.

This past November, in the re-named re-vamped Bagdad/Milton Plein Air Paint-out, I won second place for Shoreline Curve. I've learned to paint faster in the years between the two events. I can now finish a plein air painting in about two hours. Of course a very valid argument can be made that speed often has little to do with quality, but that's a debate for another day.

Though I was pleased with the win, I was not happy with the painting. I knew that a tree trunk I had painted into the scene was not working, and I was out of time to fix it. I prayed that the painting would not sell during the month long exhibition, and fortunately it didn't.

The offending trunk has been painted out and the painting is much better for it. The moral of this little tale is to always remember to not stupidly paint something in just because it's there. Edit, edit, and edit has to be the first rule of painting outdoors- And indoors for that matter.

May I never fall into the trap of refusing, just for the sake of "plein air purity", to alter a painting that isn't working. When they work, and many do, I'm grateful. When they don't, I'll continue to feel entirely free to fix them. 

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