I've been painting a lot as usual. It occurred to me today that knowing what not to paint was probably just as important as knowing what does work well.
It's a list that keeps growing and changing as I progress as a landscape painter. BTW, That list is going to be different for different artists with unique styles and temperaments. As an artist you should be in touch with your inner guidance. Intuition is also best, when aided by reason and experience.
Here's some of the things that don't work for me:
- Blue skies with fluffy clouds. Sigh...
- All in a row type compositions. Note I have found some ways out of this type of issue. Today's painting shows one way.
- Fences, alas, do not work for me. I say alas as they can be and have been used very effectively by other artists.
- Certain types of trees, like poplars and conical pines. I have done some pretty good paintings that had these types of trees but they present myriad challenges.
- 100% white or black, doesn't work in my art. I've always gotta hold something back.
- Roads or paths that are too horizontal, tend to cut up the picture plane too much.
- Lot's of tiny brush strokes, strangle the art. Sometimes can't be avoided if you'r struggling to get something across
That's just off the top of my head. There's about fives times that. I'm not recalling it all right now. Like I said the list grows AND changes. I recently pulled off a nice painting that had a tea tree in it and that was not something I could do well in the past.
I'm always trying to stretch the boundary and often I do succeed in striking an item off the list of "No Go". While at other times I end up just reminded of the path best not taken, yet again.
A bit about "Sundown". "Sundown" is a imaginary scene based on a photo of a field that I'm quite pleased with. Most of the larger version was painted at the local artists market last month and touched up a bit later in the studio. My original conception of the scene had a different sky that after painting the first version of the 5x7, I realized needed to be improved. I used the 5x7 to recreate the sky and took that to the larger painting later.
As I mentioned above. This is a good example of what I call a "all in a row" composition. Usually this type of composition is too lacking in movement to work well. My strategy to solve this was to create compositional interest on the ground with wetlands/puddles and above in the sky with strategic cloud placement. I'm chuffed with the final painting. I'm especially pleased with the fracture in my brush strokes.