Sunday, March 26, 2017

House down the Road

"House down the Road"
8 x 8 acrylic on canvas
Available through DPW gallery/auction

This little painting did not start out so little - or so square! This has been a lesson and a half!

I painted this some weeks ago, for an older Virtual Painting (I can't remember which) - but - I was not happy with the painting. I put it aside, next to the easel, and would look at it from time to time. It was "off" for me, but I could not place how. Since I have a tendency to not "push the darks" I just assumed that was my problem. 

Here is the original painting, as a 9x12. It did seem to work, sort of. But there was something I didn't like about it. I felt there was too much of the same green in this, too much yellow, and not enough contrast. 
I belong to a Facebook painting group where artists help one another with critiques. I posted this image, and asked for help & feedback. 

I didn't get a lot, only 2 or 3. General feedback was to go more painterly, less detail. Once person said the horizon line seemed to be in the center of the painting, which can hurt the overall look. 

Working more "painterly" is tough for me, I am so dependent on details. Also, although I love the painterly look I see in other artists, I am at a loss as to how to achieve that look! It's a tough one for me.

I thanked the artists & sat down with my painting to rework it, best that I could. I deleted my post, thinking I would post the new work. (I have discovered I am out of the group somehow, not sure how or why. I asked to rejoin, but I haven't heard back. Maybe I hit the wrong button?).

Anyway, I worked with the trees, trying to achieve a painterly look. And as I worked it, the top of the painting got darker, and darker. Here is the painting with the reworked trees. I could not get into a happy place with the painting, and was about to scrap it. Then I remembered the first artist's comment about the horizon line cutting the painting in half - and I could see that there was quite a large amount of the dark trees on the top half. 

My solution was to cut the canvas (not the first time I've done this). I repositioned the house & horizon line by trimming the canvas down to a square format, 8x8. And now, to me, it works! 


Nan Johnson said...

From Autumn Leaves (I accidentally deleted your comment in blogger, so am adding it here from my email! sorry about that!)

Sherry wrote:
While it is so very lovely, this end result, and so much better than I could ever conceivably do myself, I have to confess that I love the original version. It looks so real! I am always drawn to driveways such as this one, always wanted to go see that is at the end of it. Never do because you never what kind of back job might be at the end of the driveway with a gun...but still...the imagination runs...

Nan Johnson said...

From Jill Brax (again, accidentally deleted your comment so adding it here from my email!)

Jill wrote:
I like the 8x8 but I still like the original better. I think it has a painterly quality about it - I just like the lights and darks better.

Nan Johnson said...

Sorry about those deletIons! I've complained in the past to them that the Delete and Publish buttons should not be that close together!!

Interesting that both of you prefer the original, which is the completely opposite direction that I was told when I published on FB asking for help.

I had liked the original too, but still think it needed a "pop" to it. The 2 are now like completely different paintings - maybe I'll redo the original one, but spending a bit more time on the values so I can get the "pop" I'm looking for.

Thank you Sherry & Jill!


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