Sometimes I look at an older painting and it’s lacking something. Oh, it’s often “nice enough,” but… well, that’s not enough for me unless it was just a quick sketch.
My March 2010 painting, Spring is on the way, was like that. It just didn’t have the oomph that I wanted; that may be partly because it was a difficult week for my family. Sometimes I paint just to keep busy while I’m processing challenges in my life. When I’m not fully committed to the art, particularly in terms of my emotions, the finished work can seem a little lackluster.
Also, I’ve learned a lot about color and technique since then.
Anyway, feeling very pleased with the improvements in Orange Hills, Revisited, I decided to improve the spring painting as well. That’s the finished version, above.
Much of the work involved bringing the colors forward, and softening the areas that weren’t well-defined. Sometimes when I keep fussing with part of a painting, the area doesn’t emerge clearly and the busy-ness of it detracts from the finished work.
That’s what happened with the previous version of this painting.
This week, I was reminded of when I studied art with Larry Gluck, and he’d talk about turning paintings into “little gems.” That’s what I was doing with this canvas. (And yes, it is fairly little at 8″ x 10″.)
Fortunately, this week’s landscape colors were surprisingly similar to when I began this painting last March. (With the winter we’ve had so far, I’m hoping it’s an indication of an early spring, as well.)
On the right, you can see part of the canvas, suggesting the subtle colors and the varied brushstrokes.
I’m very pleased with this painting, now that I’ve polished it into a more vibrant and representative work. The emotional content is richer, too.
The colors and textures have depth. I look at this painting and smile, because it’s tremendously evocative.
I’m still learning when to leave a good painting alone, and when my art can be improved upon with just a little finesse.
With this painting, the latter was definitely the case and the final product is truly good.