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New work: Colorful Field, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

Updated: May 21

Exhibiting: Saks Galleries, Denver

$5700. framed

This is a composition I had done before and it’s a favorite, so I wanted to do it in another way. In previous versions, there was always a line of yellow trees in the center with a definitive cloud shape above and this oil was started in the same way.

For a number of reasons, the painting wasn’t coming together, so I would try again and set it aside, a cycle that went on for months.

Last week an artist came over for a “paint along,” I was teaching and an had set up an empty easel beside him. This oil was against the wall and needed some serious work so I put it on the easel and decided to make some big moves.

I remember Wolf Kahn telling me that sometimes you had to “Do violence to the picture,” so I proceeded to eliminate the band of yellow trees by over painting new trees, but not completely. The earlier yellow trees peeking thorugh really set the painting on a new path. Other changes followed with the other trees and last, the cloud forms were eliminated, leaving a simple, radiant sky where the clouds were only alluded to.

As it turned out, a painting begun last fall with numerous painting sessions and many frustrating hours of attempted problem solving was torn down and successfully repainted in an hour.

Ahhhhhh…. It is now full of life with abstracted detail, depth and atmosphere that carries out for miles.

And then there is the statement from another great artist, William Merritt Chase who made a comment to a student beginning a painting outdoors. It was something like, “Go ahead, take your time. Take an hour if you like.”

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