The painting has been going well lately.
I'm doing lot's of small paintings at the moment. What I really like about doing these little gems is how the focus goes to color and composition.
The smallest brush I paint with is a #2 flat and that's really only for certain dark passages. I use a #4 flat for 80% of the painting on my 5x5's and 5x7's. That's about 1/4 inch wide or 6.35 mm. relatively huge for such small sizes.
Why use a brush so large for a painting so small?
The answer is: because I don't wish to be persnickety. I want air, light and feeling in my paintings and excessive detail works against that. In addition, the effort of using a large brush creates a more painterly aspect.
I encourage my students to use large brushes relative to the size they are painting also. Using a small brush takes more time for one thing but the real issue is that small brushes give the painting a tight uncomfortable feeling that's hard to disguise or obviate later.
A bit about "(Morning) After the Storm". I've done a larger version of this motif that I've not yet photographed. This is the type of scene you see in Northland New Zealand all the time. It's a bit lighter than many of my recent works.
I'm happy with the light, morning feeling of this little painting and It's big brother as well. There are some striking differences between the two and I'm often interested in this when painting a motif again and again.
I feel that paintings contain a strong reflection of consciousness at the moment of creation. This is one of the reasons I became increasingly interested in originals after many years of working digitally.
It's nearly impossible without using overt technical aids for me to replicate a painting. So, I'm free to explore any motif repeatedly, confident that each original painting I create will be unique and also valid as a work of art.