Sunday, October 2, 2011

Painting of a Wooded Path

Here is the painting of a wooded path I showed you as a work-in-progress a couple of posts ago. Loosely based on a scene at our nearby Kingsley Plantation (which has appeared in a few previous posts and some other paintings), the piece is nearly finished. I have adjusted the light and shadow patterns on the path and have added some details in the upper right quadrant (the intended focal area). There will be a few more adjustments, but nothing that will be very noticeable in a snapshot. At least, that is my current thinking. Sometimes, I get a new insight after putting a nearly complete piece away for awhile.
However, I am wary of overworking a painting, a real temptation for a detail-oriented perfectionist like me. So, it's smart to stop before I feel that a piece is totally "there" and put it away for a time. I am much more likely to detract from a work by continuing to fiddle with it at this stage than to improve it much.
Given the sort of person I am, painting has been very good for me. Artistic pieces are never "perfect" or "correct" in the same sense that something like an algebra solution is. I am learning to enjoy the process above all and to let go of the need to keep trying to improve a painting that is "almost there". In art, there may be no "there" there--as someone said in another context. Looser work with some imperfection is often fresher, livelier, and easier for viewers to relate to. Stiff, overly fussy detailed work misses the mark in terms of communicating an artistic vision. Nature, after all, achieves its beauty in the variations, asymmetry, and yes, imperfections of living things and natural features of the landscape. So, for a representative landscape painter, letting go of perfectionism is the perfect approach.
Question of the day: What recent project or undertaking has proven to be a helpful corrective to your personal tendencies?


  1. What a lovely place and wonderful rendition of it, Mary.
    Carol B.

  2. Easy question. Starting the new blog! LOL

    This is gorgeous, Mary, truly! Much more personal (I don't know how to explain, maybe more as if I am in this piece rather than looking at it?)...

    One of my favorites yet!!

    To add the subscribe widget, it is just the same as when you added the others on your sidebar. Go to your dashboard, then click the design tab. If memory serves, the layout of your blog comes up. On the left side (which is the side your sidebar is on), you should be able to add an element or widget. When you click on the blank one that is in place, it should pop up a menu and you can choose the subscribe widget that comes up in the list. I think that is about it. I cannot get more descriptive alas, as I can't open my dashboard on blogger anymore. I don't know because I still have one active blog. Sigh...

  3. Thank you very much, Carol. It's wonderful to hear from you.

    Oh Sherry, it is a lovely feeling to read your comment and to feel that this painting speaks to you in this way. Thank you kindly. I also very much appreciate you taking the time to explain adding the subscribe widget to me. I did get this far once, and it seemed as though the next step would take me away from Google's blogger to another service. Didn't do it right then. When I have some time, I will work on this so that it is simpler for followers who use a different blog server to know when I post a new entry.

  4. Besides, perfect is boring! You painting is beautiful. I love how you have captured the light. Amazing!

  5. Oh Mary - this is lovely! I want to stroll down that path! The shadow patterns dance - your work is getting better and better! Great job!

  6. Wow! Such encouraging comments from two fine painters--thank you, Lisa and Rosemary. I appreciate your visits and your generous thoughts on this piece. You are especially kind to be specific about what you like in this work.