Today's painting, on an 14" X 18" canvas board, is a romanticized version of a scene near our home which I pass on one of my favorite walking routes. A broken-down, abandoned shed surrounded by rusted metal debris stands on the curve of a two-track dirt drive leading far back into a wooded area. Perhaps there was a house on this lot once although there is no evidence of a foundation, just half-ruined utility connections. It's on a back road shared by a mix of small "Old Florida" homes, newer construction replacing tear-downs, and older mobile homes, so might once have boasted a double-wide. Now natural vegetation and overgrown plantings are gradually taking over, but the place still somehow breathes with the spirit of people who once used tools stored in this shed. It invites the imagination to spin a story of those who called this spot home.
After studying, sketching and photographing the scene a couple of years ago, I came up with this painting, called Long Gone. It took on a life of its own, as creations often do, and I was led away from the initial subdued, realistic palette to make it sing with color. In spite of the air of abandonment, this has always struck me as a happy place, so that's what flowed from my brush. The result has a sort of storybook quality rather than realistically representing the actual location. This painting made the cut for the Open Studio Reception and hopefully will make an interesting contrast to other pieces with more limited palettes and greater realism.
Question of the day: In your own creative pursuits, how often does the process take on a life of its own? How comfortable are you with those experiences--do you like to maintain some control or do you enjoy being carried away and surprised?