March 17, 2012

Painting in a friend's, um, shoes

I offered some comments to a friend (he asked! they weren't unsolicited) about recent woodsy/watery paintings he'd done that he felt weren't up to his usual work. His usual work is amazing, so I was reluctant to say anything, but I did have a few thoughts about what he could do, particularly with warm foreground and cooler distant color. And he was gracious enough to say he'd try to incorporate what I'd suggested. After I thought about it, though, I realized it had been a while since I'd been painting in the woods near water and maybe I needed to walk in his shoes or paint in his milieu or something like that.

It was a beautiful day, cherry blossom trees downtown were in full bloom, but not so full near my house. Still, a neighbor 2 blocks away has some spectacular landscaping, including a tree-lined stream (which is an actual stream... with a little help from a pump that keeps it flowing even when it would otherwise be dry), so I set up there.

I did get asked as I was pretty much done with the painting, "Are you painting the stream?" And I said "No." Which did result in the person who'd asked looking at me pensively, "You're not?" it looks like you are." I admitted I was just surprised she'd asked.

The image I posted isn't quite accurate in color or detail (the paint is too shiny for a good photo) but the irony, after all this, is that I think I made the distant center trees a little too warm yellow.

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