Monday, November 18, 2013

Changes Are Coming - And Not Just The Weather

Those of you who do follow this blog may have noticed a change in its format. You are correct. The format HAS changed. I did this in response to my blog having issues with the interactivity disappearing and re-appearing at will.  Nothing I did caused it and it was intermittent.  I was frustrated. So I can only imagine what it was like on the reader side. Now people should find it easier to comment and otherwise send me an electronic raspberry if you don’t like what I posted, either verbal or visual.

As anyone who has troubleshot a computer or a program knows, an intermittent problem is the worse kind to find and fix. So I opted to not try and to throw in the towel. I have other things on the burner that are for me more important. I have actually traded in a car rather than try and find a computer/electrical problem in an otherwise just fine car. Life is too short to be frustrated. (And I paint???)

On the painting side, I find I am that way about my problem paintings en plein air too. I will take them in the house, especially if something is hiding about the edges of my consciousness, telling me something needs fixed. Especially if I do not know what the heck that thing is that needs fixing. I live with them a while until the goblin pops out at me. And I do know that goblins were for last month, but they hang around here some times, way beyond their welcome date.

Hillsboro Arroyo
6x5 oil linen on board

That was the case with this little painting. I did it a few weeks ago and something really bothered me about it. So it sat in the living room, a 6x6 itch I couldn’t figure out how to scratch. Every time I turned on the TV, sat down with a cup of coffee, tried to catch up on my phone missives, there it sat, staring back at me.

When I read something said by Harley Brown, in a recent interview, the light went on. Harley said (not quoting here) that you should never put the same amount of detail in the background as in the foreground. Imagine that simple a solution! I had gotten to the point where I knew that it was the background that haunted me. I had painted this tiny thing with smaller brushes. I should have kept the bigger ones handy. Once I simplified the background, a few judicious lights were added and suddenly it bordered on the acceptable. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still in the living room. Is it a still plein air? You betcha. I figure it only needed about 5-10% modifications, so according to my criteria, it’s still a plein air. But those pesky goblins are gone for a bit. They were probably afraid I’d mistake them for the turkey. 


Favorite quote:
·“The painting is finished before the artist knows it is.”
Harley Brown

To learn about a plein air competition for the benefit of the Wounded Warrior Project, and to win cash prizes and a chance for a two person show,  click here and go to Downloads. 


  1. Test post...Like the new format. It's more "calm."

  2. This is so much easier for comments! Harley always has the answers!