To redo or not to redo... A painting conundrum!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010 5:10:08 PM
[Newest unfinished work - in normal daytime lighting - no camera flash!]
[Here is the same painting - with a flash from my camera! Interesting how it changes the colors, no? I kind of like it better in this lighting - it gives a colder temperature to the water and clouds.]
I started this new "commission" a while ago. (It remains, sadly, unfinished and has been neglected for some weeks!) My dad wanted something for his livingroom. He initially gave me photos and postcards of native-american warriors and significant historical native leaders. (I guess I should mention that my dad has always held a fascination and respect for native cultures - something which led him to start his own gallery of native art at one point in his carrear. Seems we are very artistic in this family - but I digress!)
So, I found that these photos were difficult subjects because they of course were real people and realistic landscapes. (As I've mentioned in previous posts, I am horrible at drawing or depicting realism or people's faces, bodies, shapes, etc). I know myself well enough to judge when I can and can't do something (atleast I think I do). Therefore, instead of the pictures of people, I chose a photograph of our cottage lake at sunset.
I started working with acrylics on canvas and I think got myself a little too carried away in the details. As I've mentioned before, detail-striven artists (if they don't balance their perspective) can find themselves in a dangerously off-balance. I realized this one morning when I stood back and I didn't like the composition very much. It seems a little too perfect or idealistic and less like the photograph I was trying desperately to work from. What bothers me most I think is the water. I of course was engrossed in depicting every wave and ripple. But, looking at it now, it looks more like wrinkles in a flat tablecloth - instead of fluid ripples in a lake.
[Detail of the waves in the lake]
[Detail of the treeline - silhouette of the trees against the sunset]
So now I am at a point where I have to decide: do I continue to paint with the intent to finish off what I started (regardless of whether I like the composition and colors) or do I alter the painting and risk doing more damage - but with a small potential for improvement?
The answer is something I need to think about...and mull over coffee this morning... strong coffee - to get my head in gear and out of the clouds!
Anyone with an artistic opinion or even suggestions for improvement are welcome to respond. I gladly take criticism (hopefully constructive) to this unfinished work.
Here's to a "beautifully sunny...but clouded with decisions" day!