Friday, March 03, 2006

I honestly don't know if I'll ever finish this one. The last time I worked on it I ended up wiping out the entire day's work. This is the kind of subject I almost never paint, so why did I even start this one? Partly it's that I've come to enjoy being in the woods more than ever before in my life; for me enjoying something is inseparable from wanting to paint it. But it is also because I did an oil sketch last summer when I was teaching a landscape class that I really like so I thought I might try to make a larger version.

After much struggle (wiping out, starting over, wiping out again) I felt I got a good first statement. The second day went reasonably well too - and then the disaster, which, fortunately, I was able to wipe out enough to get back to a reasonably good state. I think the problem may have been that I was experimenting with a new yellow oxide pigment. When I get out of my color harmony comfort zone I freak out on some deep level and hate what I've done. I also think that if I'm ever going to do a successful painting of this subject I need to think in very abstract terms and not get too literal.

This is the study that I did plein air.

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