I encountered this fellow today. I stopped for coffee on my way to a painting site and there he was! He was friendly and mild mannered, the lady who owned the car eventually picked him up, gently set him on the ground and he padded off. Nice bird.
I worked today on a painting that I started the day before. It was an 18 by 24, a size I usually try to paint in one shot. I then finish them in the studio. You have seen me do that on this blog . But today the painting wasn't better at the end of the day than it was at the beginning. That happens sometimes, and I always feel so beaten when it does. Not discouraged, just disappointed that I had lost my focus and made the painting truer to nature but more disjointed. I had lots of information, but the painting no longer worked as a unit.I will now attempt to steal a victory from the jaws of defeat by writing some about "pushing' paintings beyond the rough impression and my thoughts on finish versus looseness.
I will print out a photo of the scene and work on it in the studio, probably I will be able to save it. I don't need to go out and work on it again, as I have more than enough information, I need to get the"art" part installed in the painting. Some painters I know are only interested in making one shot loose paintings. There is nothing wrong with that, but I like to take paintings a little further. We often hear people say that it takes two artists to make a painting " one to paint it and another to stop them before they ruin it". I disagree.
You can continue to work on a painting as long as you can continue to make good decisions about what to do to it.
It is this ability that enables me to make a living. I can get more finish in a painting and still keep it looking like an impressionist piece.
Lots of the French and American 19th century painters did this. The museums are filled with examples. I think no era has been as enamored with one shot sketches as our own. Some painters develop the ability to knock out a painting very quickly that seems to me a little half baked. There are, of course, wonderful one shot paintings that are full of life and excitement, but for every one of those, there are a thousand lazily executed and poorly thought through paintings.
I will begin tomorrow a series of several posts on finish .