Perseverance. That’s all it takes. At least that’s what I’ve always been told. When you get knocked down, you get back up, brush yourself off and try, try again! My last on site painting attempts have all ended up with a scraped off panel and a lot of wasted paint. Well, maybe the paint wasn’t wasted. There is always something to be learned. My last lesson was that even the most nicely rendered sky won’t overcome the fact that, if there is no thought paid to composition, there really isn’t a painting. As another well known landscape painter once remarked “…that panel deserved better!”
So it was with what I’ll call “hesitant determination” that I set out today with my pochade box and my tripod and my water bottle to “get back on the horse”. I scouted a few locations in the village of Bayville which seems to always sit picturesquely on the North Shore of Long Island.
I discovered a lovely, off the beaten path view I had never encountered before. I was determined to make some proper decisions based on the view that was presented to me and felt as though I accomplished just that. It had a nice composition, good value contrasts, and was back-lit and dramatic…it had everything going for it. I set out my paints, uncovered my mineral spirits, got my panel in place, and picked up my brush to begin.
Then, as if by some manner of cosmic taunt, a large cloud moved from in front of the sun and brilliantly lit the view opposite the one I was about to execute. I deliberated for all of two seconds and decided I rather liked the two round bushes and the contrast between the deep blue/violet water in the distance and the warm, straw colored grass. Without any more thought than that, I began to paint. For someone whose confidence had already been eroded this seemed a recipe for another scraped off canvas and more wasted pigment.
However, I really like the result and that’s all that matters. The lesson for today was spontaneity can sometimes win out over hesitant determination.
Note that all of these small sketches are available for sale directly from me via this website. Simply click on the “Paintings and Prints” tab and then on “Available Paintings”. The price includes shipping costs.