Friday, May 21, 2010

The Final Painting

"Spring Pathway", final version, 24 x 18 watercolor painting.
I struggled with the blandness that was still apparent in many of the bushes and branches, the rebirth of new green growth was still sparse.

The painting as it appeared this morning, missing crisp details and shadows in the pathway.

my initial paint washes and composition, this was just the starting point.

All week long I worked on the watercolor version of the pathway, inspired by the springtime photograph I took at the bird sanctuary. It was as if I felt pressure rather than pleasure, to paint the most intense version. I wanted this painting to be worthy of the year long series, but I just didn't get into the creative zone, not until today. I went through the motions of the initial paint washes, I knew the composition details (possibly I knew it too well from having painted it the prior 3 seasons!) and I felt like everything I did was just adequate. I was missing the energy and sharp contrasts. I thought about each layer of paint as I was adding it, and although I had the creative freedom to change what I needed in order to make the painting "work" despite what I saw in the photograph, I was battling with the reality that the colors of springtime were spring greens, and browns, and not the same as the full lush greens of summer, not the same as the warmth of autumn, and not the stark cool tones of winter.

I have decided the spring season is my least favorite season to paint based on the reality of the color palette!


  1. Going thru the motions gets your paint muscles limbered up and your juices flowing. As you continue to work BAM!, you're suddenly in the zone and you create a work of art. Sweet!


  2. You've created a wonderful sense of depth with your variety of greens. Can you post the other 3 paintings along with this one so that we can see the different seasons?

  3. Hi Don, thanks for the insight... juices don't always flow when we ask them to, and not giving up was the key for me.

    Hi Nancy, I have been posting along the way the past year, and I am happy to put all 4 watercolor paintings together in a new post. This series for me was my first time appreciating the starting point using my photographs, then movement into both the watercolor and encaustic mediums. The work has a much stronger impact when you see it all together.