Saturday, June 19, 2010
100 plein air paintings in 100 days - #48/#49
Original Oil 6x8"
Well today I went well into the dark side. Did 3 paintings, wiped 2 of them. For all of them the light and I were on completely different programs. Every time I started to key in on something, it would change completely (lots of clouds in and out), and instead of committing to my first inspiration, I followed it everywhere it went. I can truly say that this day my head was just not in the game, to the point where I got extremely frustrated and just stopped caring and started slapping any old thing down. Observing my aggravation escalate, I recall thinking, "Hmmm, so this is what halfway through feels like..."
I really didn't want to start this 3rd piece, but I did, and I tried to stay focused when the sun set about 20 minutes in and I had to draw on memory to finish it. Was pleasantly surprised when I got it out of the box at home to find there was a lot of good stuff in it.
Here's something that has helped me deal with the sense of "wasted time" one feels after spending a few hours painting and winding up with "nothing to show for it". I have learned to consider that every brush stroke I put down moves me toward being a better painter, so even though I may not have a successful painting to show for it, progress toward the goal that really matters to me has been made.
Original Oil 6x8"
This was interesting to paint. A few days of rain and gray and nothing I was excited to paint compelled me to tackle this subject one night on the way home from the studio. I used a little LED booklight (in the car) which worked really well, and it was super fun to play with the street lights and wet highway reflections. In the end I think it's a bit dark (a friend asked, "Well isn't night dark?"). Good point, but all the great nocturnes I have seen suggest darkness without being dark. Really inspired to tackle a few more of these down the road...I can see this subject matter has a lot to teach.