Just got home late last night from a fabulous trip landscape painting with friends in New York. Mostly quick sketches, about an hour or so each, up to four a day, which I will post later. Some I quite liked..some just plain 'off'. But I had a ball.
On return to my studio this morning, the benefit of a weekend away, has made me re-look at the portrait demo I did last week at LAAFA just before I left. 18x 24.
In the hurry to pack and get on an early morning plane after a late teaching class, I thought I had got something I liked. But my husband said it wasn't that good. Not one of my best. He never comments on anything so when he does, I usually listen.
However, I really like this one today seeing it with new eyes. I like the color harmony, red and green, I like the skin tones, and I like how thick I got the brushwork in parts, and soft in others. I like the fact that I caught her essence. A very interesting face, not cookie-cutter predictable.
Which brings me back to the weekend. Landscape painting is not my first love. All that green. I always joke that I don't really do green. I return with sunburn, mosquito bites, ratty hair but with a profound respect for those that do it well and an excitement that I want to do it MORE and MORE. Make it a regular part of what I do.
There is SOMETHING quite marvelous and profound about painting in the great outdoors. Just you with nature. And the odd whacko bird-watcher, handsome policeman checking permit, or wandering deer that show up. Yes, we had all three this weekend.
But there is also SOMETHING quite marvelous about a model/sitter before your eyes, cup of warm coffee in hand, sturdy ground and restroom with running water nearby. A chance to work at a leisurely pace in controlled environment.
I guess that is why we have to paint it ALL. One discipline feeds the other. One discipline gives you a respect for the other...and painting it ALL makes one a better artist.