Sunday, November 16, 2014

Colvin Run

8" x 10"
Oil on board

One of the many dilemmas I face as a painter is whether or not to post paintings that I really don't like or that just turn out badly.  It happens - not often, but it happens.  However, I can only think of two or three of the hundreds of paintings that I've completed that I haven't posted.  They are hiding in the dark corners of my closets, along with many others that I've later regretted posting; misfit paintings.  Although I guess I shouldn't feel that way.  Painting is a process, and regardless of my mistakes, I feel like I'm working toward something.

I debated whether or not to post this one, and it was a little upsetting to me.  The painting is Colvin Run in Lake Fairfax Park, just upstream from where it empties into Lake Fairfax.  I painted it on-site, and the reason it's upsetting is because I always feel like painting outdoors, on-site, is the true test of a painter's skills.  When it doesn't turn out well, one questions his skills as a painter.

This day was a true test.  As I picked my location, set up my easel, and pre-mixed my colors and values, conditions were sunny, mild, and still.  However, sketching out my painting must have signaled the gods that it was time to start screwing with me.  The wind whipped up, the sun went away, and it became chilly as it tends to do in early November.  The beautifully backlit, yellow grasses became grey, muddy masses and the bright, violet tinted reflections of the clear sky on Colvin run were now indistinguishable from the dead trees criss-crossing the stream.  Alright; enough excuses.

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