I don't know why it surprises me that this is my sixth painting, but it seems as though I had painted many more before getting to one I was actually proud of. And because I like it, I really won't spend too much time looking for flaws—I don't want to ruin it for myself. Kathleen said 0nce that you get about 1 good painting for every 20 you paint, and I feel this is one of those. I think the main reason I like it is because it's from my own photo I took while traveling through China, and it's just a great reminder of a very wonderful adventure.
The biggest challenge from this painting was the water. I wasn't quite sure what I was doing, but Kathleen talked me through using layers of paint to achieve the sky reflection. Also, there's a lot of detail in the photo and I had to decide how much I would translate to the canvas, especially with the grass in the water. I wanted detail, but didn't want to overdo it and distract from the figure. I also simplified the clothing and decided against the striped shirt the man was wearing for the simple solid one. I think I did justice to the lighting. It was an overcast day, but with diffused lighting which goes with the reflected clouds. One thing I left out of the painting was a few figures in the background. I regret not including them because I think they would have added depth and interest in the upper portion of the canvas. It's funny that I get to a point with paintings that I'm scared to experiment and add to it. I decide that I might ruin what I already have. I'm slowing getting over that and I'm realizing the power of the paint. I could have added them and if they didn't work out, just painted over them, but that didn't occur to me at the time. I think it's important to experiment when I'm painting, and to just forget trying to make a good painting, but during this time, I was very interested in getting a painting that I could show others and be able to say, "I did this" and this painting did that for me. I entered it in a show at the Center and put a price tag at $500. I wasn't surprised when it didn't sell, but it was fun to try.
A Wall in France
2 hours ago