Saturday, July 18, 2009

Exploring & Growing--Landscape Painting, Jacksonville Beach scene

I have showed you some of my landscape paintings in previous posts and have described the creative process for each. If you wish to see them, you can view posts from June 12 & 17 and May 1 & 7 or simply enter "landscape painting" in the search box above. The June entries showed how my individual composition decisions used and yet modified the scene in the original reference photo. 
I have a painting of a grey heron at a lake in Hanna Park, here in Jacksonville, Florida almost finished and am excited that I will be showing it to you soon. That painting also grew away from the original reference photo as I worked and struggled with the vision I had for it. Although I am very happy with each of those finished pieces, I can recall vividly how I despaired along the way, wondering why the painting refused to gel--why it seemed determined to remain clumsy and unsatisfactory.
Today's painting is a different case. Although you will see differences--a painter almost never simply copies nature, this photo and painting are more closely related than usually happens. Exploring Jacksonville Beach with our little beach-loving Shih-Tzu one mild late winter day, I saw early flowers blooming by a white concrete fence. I took several photos and decided that the one above would make a lovely medium-sized painting. It required minor adjustments only to make a painting I am very fond of. Some paintings require extensive sketching, planning, adjusting, and revising to grow into a vision I like. Then again, sometimes, all I need to do is to observe nature and go with the flow.
Question of the day: When creativity comes easily, do you ever wish it happened that way every time? Would that really be for the best?


  1. What a lovely piece, Mary! Your vision of it is beautiful.

    I can't wait to see the heron painting!

    as to your question, I absolutely love it when creativity comes easily, but, no, I don't wish it would happen that way every time. It's those times of struggle that seem to bring the growth we need. So, I really think that when it comes easily, it's because we've just gone through the struggle, and are reaping the benefits of sticking with it through the hard times.

  2. Thank you, Jean, for your sweet comments on the painting. A "thumbs up" means a lot coming from a gifted painter like you.

    I also appreciate your consideration of the question and your wise response. I completely agree with you about the benefits of creative struggle.