Saturday, November 1, 2014

How to un-crap a crapped out painting

How fun is that?!?!? Oh ya, baby, I'm talking demolition and instantaneous regrowth. My father-in-law came up with the title "The Lazarus Tree." Very fitting, I think, because it ties in beautifully with my first painting of this particular homestead which was titled "Recovering Oaks" and it's a bit of a giggler for anyone who knows about this painting's progress. 

It's Way Back Wednesday in Saraland so here is the first painting of this scene:
Recovering Oaks
24"x36"? (I can't remember...)

My, how work does change. 
Artistic growth on top of different time of year and time of day make for some noticible differences. 

The oaks on the foreground of that 2010 painting were hit hard by oak wilt but had new growth- meaning they were not quite dead yet, just mostly dead. And apparently had already had a visit from Miracle Max (not to be confused with Miracle Mike) and were on their way to full recovery. Hence the title. 
I love live oaks. They blow raspberries at statistics and laugh in the face of death. 


Looks like the tree in the 2014 reference photo of this place is pretty much dead. Not just mostly dead like the oaks that recovered, but all the way dead like this year's firewood. 
It didn't occur to me to bring the tree back to life until those shriveled, scraggly branches made my Think Tank gag. 

The first time I finished this painting the whole thing was off. The stone building looked like a funky addition on the wood barn, and the weight of both threw the entire composition off. 
And then there were those bland, dead branches jutting out of nowhere. 

It's really no wonder I got a negative on this piece from the hubster, the first-grader, the toddler, AND the gallery. 

I cannot even begin to describe how gloriously fun it was to alter this painting! Take the expectations and need to succeed out of the equation and all of a sudden Joy jumps out with bells on her toes, a funny hat, and a "Ta-daaaaaa! did you miss me?" 

Yes, I did. 

I made up the tree and got the lighting figured while sitting at Soren's football practice. We are so lucky to live where we do! How many people get to stare at gorgeous bits of nature while parked next to the school's practice field? 

Something I didn't realize until today- the new owners of this property seem to have removed some fence that was around the barn. It was in both of my older pieces but only a teensy bit was left for this one. Interesting to see how things change. 

Here's a slightly cleaner image, but still not super fancy because it was taken with my phone:

The Lazarus Tree
I like it. 

Peace out, homeskillet! 

I'm going to bed. 


David Forks said...

I like the Miracle Max reference, great movie. I often repaint pieces several times and struggle with them until I think I can live with them as is. At times I don't make them better, just different. Searching for a vision in a painting is dangerous for me, having a vision then painting it works better for me.

Sara Winters said...

Right on, Dave. There is nothing like starting a painting off right! I just couldn't let this one go because it was a bigger piece and I knew it had that spark, just had to kick it around a bit to make it shine.

There really is a lot to be said for starting a painting off right. Sometimes I get ahead of myself and am so busy focusing on one particular but of a scene that makes my heart sing and I forget to double check my composition.

You can have a brilliantly painted piece that doesn't work just because the composition is off.

But that's another lesson learned, right?