Saturday, November 29, 2008
Since some of you have commented or contacted me expressing interest in nighttime paintings, I decided to post this one (14" x18"), painted a year ago, and the second of this kind. At the time, I felt challenged by the idea of turning a daytime scene into a night one.
After looking at the reference photos I had, this one offered a lot of possibilities. By the time I was ready to sketch, I knew I wanted this painting to be about city lights behind the hill. I looked at Maxfield Parrish's landscapes for ideas about how to handle the sky, but ended up relying on my memory.
As I was finishing the painting, the large expanse of empty foreground became problematic -- which happens often when I don't plan a painting thoroughly. I thought about all the possible things I could add, but settled for these bales. Now that I look at it, I see so many things that need fixing, but I'm not touching it again. Some paintings are like stepping stones, leading us somewhere. The results aren't always what we expect but in trying we learn something. This piece helped me get rid of the apprehension involved in painting a night scene. Next year, when the weather is nice, I'm hoping to paint at least one entirely outdoors.
Share with me your thoughts on this subject or about something different you've tried, that made a difference to you.