Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Woody Cove, Gros Morne"

My paintings are my friends. It's as simple as that. Your art, like your friendships, needs nurturing and, subsequently, you develop connections with your paintings. At least I do.

"Woody Cove, Gros Morne", oil on canvas, 36"x60", has been in the back of my mind for years. This place reminds me of some sort of Avalon, or perhaps some veiled world found in J.R.R. Tolkien's mind. Fortunately it is happily within reach of all of us, in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada. It lies near the center of the park near Norris Point and Lobster Cove Lighthouse. 

This painting is another piece that will be a part of my solo exhibition at Abbozzo Gallery in Oakville, Ontario this autumn. I hope you can make it out to the exhibition! I will post dates for the show as soon as I find out when it is. Stay tuned. The show will include a selection of figurative paintings, landscapes and a couple of still life pieces as well. Variety is good :)

Some of the most challenging things (for me) to paint are skies and water. This painting has a lot of both. A successful painting means you have created a successful illusion. I think the key is knowing that it will ultimately work out as you want it to. You just need patience and belief. Just keep your head down and paint. 

Mind you, stepping away and assessing your painting periodically is imperative. My college painting instructor Katharine MacDonald always told us that. Take a step back and look at your work. Don't get too close for too long or you will cease to see the painting in an objective light. In fact this technique could work for any aspect of your life. If you get too close to anything for too long, you can lose objectivity and your view can become distorted. Balance, stepping back, weighing what is working and what isn't, yields your best work and perhaps your best decisions in and out of the studio. 

The only thing more exhilarating and terrifying than a blank canvas is the first mark you make. This means you have started the uphill climb in the creation of a piece of art and a hundred, two hundred, a thousand more marks will follow this initial brushstroke. Yet we paint because we must. We love it and are terrified periodically by it. I know I am. A little fear keeps you creating your best work.

So fan the flames of a little fear in the studio and I'll be writing again soon with a new painting to talk about. 

Happy creating!


"It is the job that is never started that takes longest to finish."~J.R.R. Tolkien

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