Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Work in Progress - Surfbird

Still a Work In Progress

I'm still struggling with this painting. It just isn't going where I wanted it to go. The scene around the bird feels flat to me, so I shall have to work on creating depth in it. And the bird just feels blah to me. Funny how I'm struggling more with a subject that's typical of my work than I did with the landscapes, which were new to me. I guess it is all about expectations - I expect more of myself when I paint birds. I didn't expect much when I did the French doorway or the landscapes so I just let the paintings happen. They were experiments, just as the abstract background of this painting was an experiment. I will have to try to approach all of my subjects with that experimental mindset!


Elva Paulson said...

Hi Gabrielle .... I'm going to stick my neck out and offer a little advice. I think with just a little work you can get the flatness out. Right now the background is just as rich at the top as at the shoreline. If you lighten and soften the upper part a little, the water should lay flat and the bird will still stand upright. I hope I haven't offended you but putting in my two bits worth.

Gabrielle said...

Hi Elva,

Don't apologize at all! I appreciate and welcome your advice. I hope to get some time this weekend to follow your suggestion. Thank you!

Sonya Johnson said...

I can certainly relate to everything you mentioned in your post, including the frustrations of painting a familiar subject and not having it meet's just part of the process that we all deal with. I find that when I have high expectations for a painting, it never meets them.

I think Elva is right - it won't take much to nudge this painting to a point where you'll be happy with it. I think the bird looks good, personally :).

Ken Januski said...

Hi Gabrielle,

I'm really hesitant to give advice so the only thing I'll say is that the versions I've liked best so far accentuate the bird.

But it all depends on what you want, and often that's the hardest thing to figure out. Often I don't feel like i know what I want until I finish.

Sometimes too there are just 'struggle paintings.' They're a pain, take longer than expected, never look just right, etc. But I often find that these are the ones where I learn the most. And the results show in future paintings.

As others have said it's very close right now. Maybe the best thing to do is take a break and come back to it later?

marianne said...

maybe just hang it up and look at it for a while. the painting will tell you what to do. maybe making the background more abstract will make the bird feel the way you want. i actually really love photo #2 where the bird is all energy. the experimental mindset is good, though, because you can't fail, it's all about learning-