Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Another Landscape (#2) On the Easel

I mentioned in my last post that I have been working on several landscapes;  this is the second one. It is based on a photo I took last summer at a friend's cottage, and then painted later  in my studio. I really liked this first painting but it was much tighter and more abstract than I had originally imagined and so I wanted to try another version that had a 'lighter' palette and was looser and more painterly.

I was quite pleased with my 'start', the palette and loose brushstrokes. Then I kept painting, trying to define the foliage in the trees in a loose way and trying not to re-create what I did in the first version. It was a back and forth 'dance' with the brush, over several hours and days.....and this is what it looks like now.


Looking at it critically I think the painting looks too symmetrical, appearing to be divided down the middle by a light area, and bounded by dark trees on either side. I always prefer compositions that are more asymmetrical as they seem to be less static visually. My earlier loose vertical brush strokes have been overtaken by a web of horizontal strokes intended to suggest tree branches, but they are too regular and contrived. The curved horizon line separating the ground from the background, also looks too extreme. I do like the foreground pink and yellow colours and the background yellow sky and the way the foliage lightens up in the background. 

Lots to think about and eventually work on - but at this point I am going to take a break, enjoy Christmas with my family and friends and hope that the 'aha' moment strikes when I return to my studio in the new year. 
In the meantime I wish you Season's Greetings and the very best in 2015!

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