What to leave in and what to take out??? The 'painting' above shows just the lower third of an original oil sketch. There are a couple more crops below, showing more of the painting, especially the interaction of the dark and light shapes. The original painting is posted last.

My inspiration to paint this was the wonderful contrast of dark and light shapes - see photo. However, the final small painting really captured the movement of the feet and became my favorite part of the picture.

Will just that 'feet' portion of the picture be enough to create a good painting as shown in the top cropped painting? I'm not sure.

The full figure - to the left and cropped somewhat - helps establish a pleasing cruciform pattern of darks.

Another possibility is adding the variety of all the curved lines of the bike wheels and cropping the figure even more, as shown next.

Maybe the figure looks too chopped off in this crop - or is it the lack of dominance of lights or darks? They seem to be almost equal here - not so good.

The challenge is to develop a good composition that will draw attention by the value pattern. Plans are to use fluid acrylics on YUPO for the final painting, maybe even throwing some collage in..... We'll see. All comments, suggestions and direction will be much appreciated.

"AMSTERDAM" Oil on Canvas 8 x 12"



It's snowing a beautiful, swirling snow right now. And we didn't have our Tuesday class AGAIN! Boooo.

This painting reminds me of the hope of spring (which is a hope we really need here right now) and was painted about 15 years ago with that in mind. Lots of negative painting was involved to define the trees in front of the cave like area after spritzing and splashing paint to create a soft, pale background.

It seemed strange to paint ''''negatively'''' to produce not only the positive shapes of the trees, but also the cave place that I viewed as a tomb. The tomb is an empty one, but with a positive message to show the power of resurrected life, and for me, the trees represent the strength He gives us.

How many artists paint, frame, then unframe, a painting? That's what happened to this one. It was carefully cut up into one and a half inch squares with the idea of reassembling it someday into a collage. At the time it just never 'spoke' what I thought it should say.

Now looking at this photo of it, I'm a little sorry that it was cut up. It was never reassembled and is long gone. Thank goodness the hope's stayed here.

"HOPE" Transparent Watercolor on 300#CP Arches 22 x 30" Recycled