When Creative Works aren’t Working

After 3 hours of working on a landscape painting no one wants to be faced with admitting to themselves  ” this isn’t working” and I don’t know what to do!

Knowing this is part of the journey I still have trouble surrendering to this situation.  Yesterday while on location I found an inviting view into the woods with a small bridge in the foreground.  The setting seemed to draw me in and that is what I hoped to convey in my painting.  While I have tried to tackle “woods” before and clusters of trees, I knew this would be a challenge for me.  Confident as I was  I couldn’t sort through how to grab the essence of what was there.  I looked, experimented, piled on more paint, changed colors, got out my palette knife and mushed things around.  A fellow painter suggested a nice technique and I gave that whirl but found myself continuing to flounder.

Faced with the decision of calling this one a “scrapper”, which I hate to do especially after 3 hours.  I started to clean up and pack my things for the day. Chalking it up to experience and the fact that I am really a novice at this.  I was a bit discouraged but began reminding myself that it was okay and I can come back to try again. Knowing at some point I will see what I need to and be able to communicate that with my paint.

Having all my things together to head home I found myself pulling one of the dirty brushes from my backpack for one last try.  As I swished around AGAIN I slowly saw something start to come together. I couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t have planned it.   While it’s not what I would consider a complete success I do feel that I found a small doorway to tackling this visual problem on my next go round.

So, my question is when do you give up on a piece?  When do you throw it away and move on?  And how do you tackle a forest of trees without creating a bunch of vertical sticks????

My rendering….

Into The Woods

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