painting and photographic works

Landscape Painting ReWorked

Here is what I was working at in the studio on January 2nd. I started with this landscape that I had painted, maybe a couple of years ago. I was never too happy with it – never called it done, never signed it, never even thought of putting it in the wall of my house:

untitled landscape (North Saskatchewan River)

I wasn’t too happy with this because it lacked impact. Although when I painted this there was a very bright reflection off of the river in the foreground, the whiteness in this painting wasn’t working for me. The background seemed to muddy too – I was looking for something less realistic in terms of color and more expressionistic.

Untitled - reworked (North Saskatchewan River)

I was working without any references to the actual scene – just going on instinct as to what color and value would look good where. I wanted to increase the saturation of the colors – make them less muddy, less earthy. Although the composition remains unchanged I was also aiming to break up the straight line top edge of the foreground grasses and the midground shoreline. At the time of the painting I though I was accomplishing this but looking back now I see the lines are still too straight.

I also brought up the overall value of the river while toning down the overly strong white reflection. I like the river better but it is not reading like the river in my memory.

So what if the future for this painting? It’ll probably dry and go back on the shelf. Maybe at some point in the future I will put it back on the easel and with some new insights, rework it one more time.

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2 responses

  1. Lauren

    It’s funny – I really like the original which apparently did not feel finished to you [untitled landscape (North Saskatchewan River)]. If you ever consider throwing it out or tossing it in the back of your closet, I’ll take it!

    I think I like it better than the second because it feels honest about the environment it’s interpreting; I imagine the river that day was still, dirty and loosely organized and monotonous in its landscape and colors at time yet ready to absorb and reflect the warm rays of sun! I see in the first picture the dark/dirtiness of the riverbank in the background contrasted with the warmth and brightness of the light reflecting on the foreground. Sorry I’m not trained in art so this may not sound correct. I just like it. You have some great paintings here, well done!

    2011/04/05 at 7:26 am

    • Thank you very much for your comments Lauren. Your interpretations are certainly valid, no art training needed to express how it makes you feel and what you think. I know it is often difficult for me to go back and re-work a painting. Sometimes I know something about a painting doesn’t appeal to me but I don’t often go back to them and paint over them as I did this time.
      Thanks again, I hope to see your comments again in the future 🙂

      2011/04/24 at 11:41 pm

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