A few days ago I came across a painting that I had made in March of 2012... and mused at the fact that ground was completely bare of snow cover and I distinctly remembered that the day was warm and spring like. My friend David Kay and I were painting off road in the bush and I was looking for a subject to capture my interest. I distinctly remember wishing I were in a sugar bush... where at this time of year there are numerous subjects and plenty of action. I settled into a painting of a rather ragged and lichen covered ash to satisfy my need for painting... but came away totally disappointed with the end result. My heart simply wasn't in it... and the painting showed that fact.
I sat with my coffee and stared into the structure of the painting and tried to work backwards using my brushwork to perhaps understand where the painting fell apart... but the cobwebs created by time obscured that fact. However... I did notice two areas that drew my attention. I could make out an area that looked like the peak of a shed to the upper right and an area to the left that looked a bit like horse heads. Remembering my wish on site to be in a sugar bush... I decided to play with the painting using that notion. What resulted came totally out of a day dream and play process. That "Nothing to lose... just use your imagination " approach led to this painting.
I'll leave you to decide for yourself whether the activity was successful. I totally enjoyed the three one hour sessions resulting from this exploration and am not looking at the original dull reminder of my earlier struggle and failure.
Taking time out from the real world to simply play... as a child would sometimes is a refreshing and uplifting experience to lift one from the doldrums.
Dare to Dream! Play... and enjoy the process. Be brave!... Own it... Not the other way around!
Good Painting... to All !!
"Woodland Broadloom" - a plein air oil on canvas 20x16 inches
Charcoal mapping of unintentionally created areas that aroused my attention within the framework of the original painting. Check back and forth with upper original to see the "ghosted" impressions concealed... well... in my unbridled imagination at least! HA HA!!
Here they are... amplified by a limited palette lay in using three primaries and white.
Tonal play with my regular split palette felt ever so much mopre comfortable... adding more attention gradually to the "new" maple and buckets... the horse team and the sugar shed to the rear. Already, there exists a greater depth of field in the painting and I think... more visual interest and colour.
More detail is added across the entire picture plane... while at the same time centring and maintaining my original attention to the foreground tree and pail focus. The shadows in the foreground shout out and are distracting. Light and colour have to be adjusted in the next pass.
"The Canadian Bucket Brigade" - oil on canvas 20x16 inches