Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Frustration to Fruition

How long is it in an artists evolution before painting becomes so natural that you no longer hesitate to achieve the perfect grass, trees or rocks? I mean these are the staple to any good landscape.  Here is an example of my question-I started a 24 x 36 inch painting of a series of grass covered hills and find myself painting over my grass twice now and I'm still not happy with the results. This bothers me is that I went to bed frustrated and woke up this morning feeling even more frustrated about this painting. Even if I don't go back into the studio today, I know the half finished painting is there and so are those grassy hills that just don't seem right.

 I find myself still painting at times out of order and thinking to myself, "How long before this process of creating a painting becomes natural and EASY?" I know that I try to paint too quickly and don't spend enough time really thinking about where I am going with my composition, otherwise I wouldn't still be painting a tree before I've finished my background. I think better planning out the steps of my painting will help me with this. I always know the basic subject matter that I am going to paint but I don't spend enough time focused on the steps needed to achieve that painting. The one I am working on now started out well enough.  You can see the progression of the painting as I follow these steps:

STEP 1-Sky is painted w/clouds.

STEP 2-Lay base layer for the distant rolling hills.

STEP 3- Paint the distant grass details on those hills.
 (It is in Step 3 and find that painting this much grass with my fan brush is time consuming, painful to my back and makes me very tired.  This is the step that I rushed through because a 24 x 36 canvas covered with grassy hills gets tiring and then I thought I would like the way the grass looks better if I paint the foreground trees. MISTAKE.

STEP 4- Paint details of grass, dead tree and shrubs in the foreground and maybe add a deer as an additional focal point. 
 Not yet finished because I still need to add much of the foreground details which include the tall grass, the road and the dead tree. I added the deer last night and I think he looks great if I can say so myself.  This one probably will be several more weeks before I feel it is completed and ready to be added to my gallery page, but at least I find myself today warming up to it.

The road is steep here because of the hilly terrain and the overgrown shrubbery hides your view as it descends down the other side.  You can only see a hint of it as it continues around the grassy slopes covered in summer wildflowers.  Suddenly, you stop dead in your tracks as you notice that you have just startled a young buck feeding on the tall grass and you know that at anytime he will bolt but for this moment you both are frozen as you stare in awe and try to memorize the ripples of his muscle, the shade of his fur and the number of points on his rack.  If this painting makes you feel this way, then I have succeeded in transforming my Frustration into Fruition.

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