Islands In The Sea

Islands In The Sea

Monday, March 24, 2014

Go With The Flow

Sometimes you just have to give in. That's not something that comes very easily to me but I find that my work improves when I stop trying to force a particular idea on to the canvas in a particular way and instead leave room for the piece to develop through me. The further along you are with a piece, the harder it is to change your tack. You've got time, paint and usually some emotion already invested in what's up there. However, if you can let yourself be a little brave, the payoff can be big.

This piece started out looking completely different than it does now. It was still a late afternoon-dusk painting, set on the water--but the light and palette were all bright blues and yellows and browns. It was more of a marshy scene at the edge of some small corner of a bay. I got it up and running and then put it aside as I worked on other pieces. I kept putting it back on the easel and then taking it off when I just couldn't get myself to work it any further. It was as if the canvas just didn't want to be that painting. So, last night, I just started painting over it. I squirted a big line of violet across the top of the canvas...right from the tube. I changed the palette, and mood completely--keeping it near the water's edge but moving to the ocean from the bay. Hours had passed in what seemed like no time at all and now I can't wait to get back to it and continue developing the work. There is still quite a way to go on this piece but the idea is strong and I know I won't find myself staring the piece down, trying to force the next bit of paint on to it.

That other painting may come back someday, on a canvas that wants it---but for now I'm very happy that I was able to quiet my mind and go with the flow into this new direction.

This and many other new works will be included in my show at Frodel Gallery, in Poulsbo, next month. The reception will be on April 24th from 5:30-7PM.

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