It has been a while since we’ve had a painting update! Today I have a strange one for you.
We will be spending all of this weekend at The CCHS Antique Show. It is the museum’s largest fundraiser and community event, and will feature lectures and antique vendors all day Saturday and Sunday, with a preview party Friday evening. Click this link to get more information and order tickets!
At the Antique Show Sebastian, Leah, and I will have our own booth which will feature some promotional materials and two paintings. The first will be the complete Downing’s Town painting, and the other the unfinished landscape I’ve been working on. The painting will still be unfinished at the show, and visitors will get the unique opportunity to see a work in progress in person! If you want some more background info on the works that will be present at the show – you can read about the as-of-yet untitled landscape in the New Painting, Getting Philosophical, Crazy Techniques, Fan Brush, and What to Paint and How blogs. The Downing’s Town blogs include Downing’s Town, Faces and People in Downing’s Town, and Downing’s Bird.
Showing off an unfinished painting is an unusual thing for an artist to do, and as such comes with some unusual painting challenges. Should I prepare the painting in some particular way, or just keep it as I last left it? Ultimately, I decided to give the work some light touches to ready it for its semi-debut. I wanted to make sure the full idea of the painting was there, even if it wasn’t complete. My first task was to clarify the rocks Humphry stands on; as it looked before you could confuse Humphry for standing on a river bank instead of a cliff face. To convey the sense of height and distance I’ve painted the underside of the rocks with warmer colors, suggesting light reflecting off of the ground.
My next task was to do some work on the tree in the foreground, and actually paint some branches. The tree is a major element of the painting that was essentially invisible before, and I thought it was important to represent its intended place in the work. In doing so I’ve surprised myself several times, going back and forth about my ultimate plan for the tree. How it will be lit, its length, the foliage; all of these factors are in flux. The process of painting is one of discovery, the more I work the more I learn about the total composition and feel of the piece.
It has been an interesting challenge to not get too carried away with a single element of the painting, as I don’t have a ton of time for this touching up. Hopefully, the landscape will be interestingly unfinished while still making visual sense. So come stop by our booth this weekend, browse some antiques, and listen to some speakers. All of us very much look forward to talking with you about the paintings, the show, and answering whatever questions you may have!