Bending Sea Grasses, 40 x 30, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2020
This large piece is making its way to the Anderson Fine Art Gallery, in St. Simons Island, GA, as soon as the fixed parts dry. While it sat curing after the first go round, I started having my doubts. Why did I stop? Why did I think it was done? Well... you know what happened next... back to the easel it went!
Here are the before and after shots, with thoughts about the changes...
Problem 1 - The painting was cut in half visually, with all the action in the bottom half.
Fix 1 - Added height to the mass of clouds, extending them up past the horizontal midline.
Fix 2 - Added light reference into the top half with cloud highlights, connecting ground and sky planes.
Problem 2 - Same volume in the grasses and cumulous cloud mass is repetitive and monotonous.
Fix 1 - Added volume to the clouds to differentiate them from the grasses in shape.
Problem 3 - The "spit" of land on the horizon line was too dominant and contributed to the "cutting in half" issue.
Fix 1 - Muted down the spit of land in color and in highlights... Made it "blend" better with the environment.
OBSERVATIONS:It's hard to completely change a painting this size. I'm not going to lie, I was scared. What if I was wrong? Why not leave well enough alone? But I knew I had to do it. I've heard it said that if we are not always on the verge of ruining everything, we are being too cautious.
How the change began... a few dark blobs... so scary...