Friday, October 07, 2011

When Mr. Doubt visits

The troubling landscape on the mantle

I’m back at the farm. The painting thereof, that is to say. This time I’ve gone big - it’s a 30x40. I do love painting big. I’m reasonably happy with the way this one is going, however, I still prefer painting seascapes.  It’s that “reasonably happy” that’s the biggest problem.
Something in this one is bothering me, can’t quite put my finger on it. Here’s a photo of it above my favourite seascape. It’s still wet!
I find landscapes soothing to look at, I can get lost in the mists or bare fields. I wonder what’s over the horizon. I love the way the light and the colour changes  as you watch, the mood, the calmness, the joy, the saddness. Whatever it is you feel as you look at it - just like a seascape.
So, then… why is it, I have no doubts when I paint the sea. It’s just the right feeling every time. I do a landscape and Mr. Doubt arrives to visit immediately. He loves to linger in my mind and play jokes on me. Then I get nervous and start fussing at it. That’s usually when I mess it up.
I walked away from it some time ago. Now I just walked in to the studio, looked at the painting and picked up a palette knife to start fiddling. Then I thought, “Nope. Not going to - so there!” I put the knife down, picked up the painting and put it in the gallery, on the mantle above the seascape. I stood back and looked. For a long time. Still doubting. But this time, I’m going to leave it there until tomorrow. And then I’ll re-look at it. I WILL NOT pick up the palette knife to fiddle until I really do know what it is I want to change. I must start trusting myself with landscapes.
Let’s see what happens…..

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