On Painting

Backyard Painting

Sometimes we forget to look closely at our surroundings and we miss those heart-stopping visual moments that happen around us. Painting helps me do this more. A problem is that the everyday exciting moments are usually fleeting. They tend to happen when the sunlight is hitting something just right, or when the shadows of the trees create dancing shadows. Their brevity is a reason they're so easily missed. The challenge for a painter is always how to record or create the illusion of these moments. Most likely the idea is to just go at it and see what happens.

oil on canvas, 8 x 6"

I've been admiring the work of Brooklyn painter, Paul Goss. He tackles complex landscapes and manages to create intricate compositions of shape and color that really move. They are rarely quiet or static. I love that his point-of-view tends to be up close, most likely out of necessity, yet there is a sense of space and air in his work. I have tended to go out of my way to find the broad vistas and expansive horizons. So yesterday I decided to tackle some close-up views from my own backyard, borrowing Paul's spots-of-color approach. The painting above was the first attempt.

Image courtesy of Paul Goss

Here (right) is a sample of one of Paul's paintings that I especially love.

My second painting yesterday (below) turned out altogether differently, maybe because of my choice of view. I wasn't having much success until I scraped it all down. I always love what happens in the scraping down (the letting go) of a painting.

oil on canvas, 6 x 8"

Stacy CaldwellComment