The original Look to the Hills painting, on the left above, differs in the painting palette, in the appearance of the large tree, and in the degree of detail developed in various areas of the composition. It remains a personal favorite as a reminder of that wonderful visit with treasured friends and for the tranquil feeling it gives me. Although I am open to selling most of the paintings I currently have on hand, I plan to keep the first version of this scene.
Why did I decide to create another painting from the same reference photos? I guess part of the reason is the attachment I feel to this scene. I also like an occasional break from Coastal North Florida scenes and felt like a return to the mountain vista of the Warwick, New York area. Finally, I was curious to try a second version with a different palette, a more limited group of basic paint colors from which I mixed all the colors you see in version II.
There may be some truth to the saying that "You can't go home again", as the second version proved to be much more difficult than the first. It simply refused to come out well and is still a distant second to the first in my opinion. However, hearing the response of other people to the two pieces has been interesting and instructive. At my Open Studio Reception in November, several guests really liked Hills II , and at least one of them is still considering purchasing it. Their opinions serve as a good reminder that taste and preference in art are very individual and that I should not assume that viewers will always rank paintings the same way I do. If any of you want to vote for one or the other, that would be fun, and I would love to hear the reasons for your preference.
Question of the day: What experiences can you recall that illustrate the wide variation among people in their taste in art?