Monday, October 29, 2012

Does This Work?

I can't see the painting for the paint.

Oh my, this painting has kicked my butt. I'm still not sure it is actually finished but I've got to give it a rest for a minute. I've lost count of how many times I've painted the wet sand now, and I'm still not entirely happy with it. I think I need to lighten the curlew's legs a bit. I also think the wet sand may be too dark and too blue, but I've been working on and staring at this painting for weeks now so my brain is starting to go numb. And so Dear Readers, I humbly turn to you to ask does this work? Does the wet sand read as wet sand (especially if I de-blue it)? Are the curlew's feet that have sunk a bit into the wet sand believable? Or should I just toss it in the trash and console myself with an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie? Thank you for your input.


Ken Januski said...

Hi Gabrielle,

I'd console myself with the thought that I've undertaken a very ambitious painting if it were mine. I've watched it for a long time without commenting, waiting to see how it turned out.

From the start I've wondered if you'd be able to blend bird and environment, especially if you do the bird in detail. To me this is the hardest part of wildlife painting and something that many artists just avoid by using an atmospheric, indistinct background or cropping bird so that's really all you see, etc., etc.

To me you've done a better job that I would have thought possible. I'm not sure if it reads like wet sand or not, and unfortunately I don't seem to be able to enlarge it to get a better view. But to me I'm not sure that is that important, though of course I'm not the artist!

I think it's an accomplished painting as is and perhaps is best left as is for awhile. My own experience when trying something new and ambitious is that I reach a point where I just have to stop because I can no longer actually 'see' the painting. It sounds like maybe you've reached that point.

My guess is that a break with some looser work is just the ticket for now. And hang this up so that you can look at it casually over the next weeks/months.

Gabrielle said...

Hi Ken,

Did you and your neighborhood ride out the storm okay? I remember when Floyd paid a visit so I've been thinking of everyone there.

Thank you so much for your thoughts on the painting. I agree that I've reached the saturation point and need to take a break and work on some looser (as well as smaller!) stuff.

I'm sorry I haven't been commenting on your blog a lot lately. I lurk, but I don't feel like I have intelligent or helpful things to add. I've been delighted to read about all your shows and successes, though.