Friday, March 6, 2015

Finished—after 5 years!

Blue Ridge Railway
Six (I think) years ago, I flew to VA to visit my older brother, and he took me up to some of his favorite photograph-shooting places on the Blue Ridge Parkway. One of them was this old—very old—railroad track, just off the parkway near a tiny creek and pool. I started painting it the next year and worked on it for several weeks until I lost confidence in my ability to finish it the way I wanted it to look. It came off the easel and went into the stacks for later. Much later, as it turned out.

After finishing my latest painting, I finally felt good about picking it up again. I was pleasantly surprised that I could get back into the style I was using then and didn't have to do any repainting, except for the color of the sky I had previously chosen. The foreground leaves that had scared me enough to make me stop turned out to be just a matter of continuing painting on it until I got just the right mix of colors and shading.

My biggest problem was with the overall color scheme, which was so warm that I always felt like I needed a glass of water every time I looked at it. It only took a brief moment of meditation with my color wheel to realize that all I needed was some blue violet and and violet and viridian to balance it out. Ta-da.

I'm pretty happy just to say it's finished, and I'm planning on entering it in the County Fair show this August.

If I were starting it now, I think I would approach it very differently. I did have a fleeting urge to redo the whole thing and make it softer and looser. But, as the saying goes—the urge fled. I want to move on to my Zion photos next, and it's an early gardening season this year, and there's never enough time for everything I want to do, especially during gardening season.

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