Mountain/Valley Stuck Painting

Believe it not, not all paintings are perfect! Sometimes, you enter the flow state right out of the gate, sadly other times, I may start that way but as the painting progresses, looks great, something just fizzles out. Many times it is a simple fact that I get distracted by other things that need to get done, or you get tired, sometimes, it is wrong color combinations, mixtures, or composition. I paint all of my paintings via, imagination/visualization, I try not to use photographs. When this happens you need to let it go and just move on, and come back to it later. Sometimes “later” ends up being months away!

Learning By Doing

We learn something new from all the paintings we do, sometimes it is positive, sometimes it is “lets not do this again”! There are some painting that just seen to go wrong (operator error “ME”), some you just chalk up to being a study, others you gesso over & try again later, There are some that you can see something positive happening, that you just cannot put your finger on (je ne sais quoi). I put these unfinished paintings where I can see them, pass by them or must look at them several times a day. usually inspiration strikes when you are not think about or looking at the painting, this does not mean when you apply your inspiration that you automatically end up with a masterpiece, you worked through a perceived problem, solved it and you now know what to do the next time.

Samples of Stuck Paintings

  1. 12 x 24 inch Mountain/Valley- this painting lacks “stops or blocks” on the ends, it does not need to be a focal point, which should be near the center. Blocks or Stops is just a gentle way of keeping the eyes focused on the center of the painting in stead of wandering off the edges. This could be a simple bush, tree, hill or knoll, fence post, something which fits into the context of the painting. You can see a total flat valley with a sudden hill or know would be out of place.
  2. A more contoured study of the way a mountain is actually shaped, the spine moving north to south, with other ridges running east/west, forming the hollows (hollars) around here. I just seemed to make the process harder than it needed to be!
  3. Clouds & water, when i first started oil painting the only knowledge I had for clouds was in watercolor where you lay down a blue wash and lift or wipe out for the clouds, people call these my Van Gogh clouds, even though I now paint clouds a bit differently, so they appear more dimensional than flat. The lake/pond water, just was not working.
  4. The goal on all of these is how to go about turning sows ear into a silk purse, or I could settle for muslin!

Stuck Painting Goals

This summer & fall, I am hoping to take these paintings and see if we can make them good, or not. I will show the progress along the way in future posts.


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