Monday, August 30, 2010

Learning--New Painting of North Florida Beach, "Spring Breezes"

Adapted (fairly freely) from a photo I took at Jacksonville Beach, this painting shows a dune crossing at a relatively quiet spot along our amazing off-shore island. Wildflowers were loving the early spring warmth (hint, the photo was not taken this past, unusually chilly, winter) on a March day. "Spring Breezes" developed slowly, even though I had made sketches and careful plans. Something about the look of it seemed lifeless to me along the way in spite of the bright blossoms. Fortunately, I was scheduled for another month of e-critique with my painting mentor, Linda Blondheim, and she helped me realize my original vision--plus.
Today, I won't go through the whole story of the evolution of this piece. Perhaps I will post more details about the painting process soon, but for now, have decided to let it speak for itself. After all, if visual art needs words, we are not fully doing our job :>). Of course, some visual art is meant to be paired with words or other media, and that can be wonderful. That was not the plan in this case, and I hope it stands alone. You can click on the photo to enlarge it and see more detail, but I also have some detail photos to accompany a future post about the painting process. Just one note about the scene: If you are familiar with Jacksonville Beach, you know that our dunes are not really this high. Hence my earlier disclaimer about freely adapting the actual scene--using my "artistic license" again, friends. Just one more thought before I close for today:
Question of the day: For me, the paintings that I have struggled with most sometimes grow on me, even becoming favorites. Does that happen for you--whether in visual arts or any other challenging undertaking?


  1. Beaches is always good painting material. North Florida Beaches are dam beautiful.
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  2. A most beautiful beach scene, Mary. I love the wildflowers catching the sea breezes and the little walking bridge is sheer delight.

    My pieces usually do grow on me, rather like a face only a mama can love! LOL

  3. I really love the way the path takes you into the picture Mary. A stunning painting.

  4. You are so right, FL Homes. Thank you for stopping in.

    You always make me smile, Sherry--thank you for being such a precious you. I know exactly what you mean by "a face only a mama can love"--to encourage myself when I was first painting, I framed two not-awful pieces. It felt good at the time, and I don't regret doing it. However, they live under the bed now :>).

    I appreciate your kind words, Joan, and the way you always mention a particular detail that catches your (very talented) eye. My e-critique work with Linda Blondheim definitely improved the path from its first incarnation. It is a good example of the fact that sometimes a piece is improved by painting something other than "exactly what you see". That is one reason I am so in awe of your artistry in photography--you don't have the luxury of moving nature around for the sake of your composition.

  5. This is such a lovely atmospheric painting, Mary. The composition is well planned! I can learn so much from you! The balance, the depth and how to make a focal point!

  6. Yes. I think anytime we struggle its an investment in time and effort. That seem to add value to the project in our own minds. Unfortunately sometimes I give up to easily though.

  7. Marie, what lovely things to say! I appreciate your comment on the composition--for awhile, it seemed that I had made a mistake putting the bridge on a similar level as the flowers--but it worked out all right, I think. I learn from you, too--that is part of the beauty of the blogging venture for all of us.

    Thanks for your wisdom, TB. I appreciate your perspective on the question because I hadn't thought of it that way myself--that the personal investment seems to add value in our own minds. Hopefully, sometimes, the value added goes beyond what's in our own minds :>)!