Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Mere Bagatelle

Skidaway CPR

At the end of the workshop in Savannah, this past February, I began this 16x20" panel. I clearly wasn't very focused, and I spent most of my time helping students. There had also been a report of an alligator not far away. Enough excuses?

In any event, I found this today, and as I was feeling like just noodling around on something that didn't really count, I gave it a go.

Like most paintings of this sort, I included about forty-too-many skinny tree trunks. 

When I looked at it this morning, I decided I wouldn't try to recreate the feeling of the tropical foliage (and alligator). It has migrated north, and now could comfortably be somewhere in New England.

What I was most interested in was creating some sort of mood. I think that's happening. It is still entirely in transparent color, except the sky holes and some of the orange light in the far distance. 
I expect there will be a great deal more remodeling to be done. But now I have a sense of where it might go.

Sometimes people write wondering why I show dubious starts and sometimes include later disasters. I suppose the real reason is that the painting process is not always smooth, no matter how long you've done it. Part of the job of helping people learn to paint is being honest about the difficulties.

It's also important to allow yourself to re-think a previous idea. If this becomes a woodland stream north of Boston, instead of an alligator-infested backwater in the low country, it isn't a crime. It isn't even important.

I still have to edit all those tree trunks, especially in the reflection. Never enough time!


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