swamp painting finally finished / oils

I might have to pay a pro photographer to take a decent shot of this because I’m not getting it.

Painters and poets, we all reveal ourselves through our work. When I look at this I think oh no! If there’s an art savvy shrink in the room they’ll be able to peel the layers of my personality down all the way to my subconscious which is represented here by a few inches of stagnant swamp water. I would advise you that even if you’re wearing hip boots you could sink in and get stuck in the muck.

It’s almost like feeling undressed in public when you feel like your life is shown in a painting. People who I don’t know will get to know me well.

That’s why I don’t feel the need to express my emotions through my painting. Even if I’m only trying to represent nature as accurately as I can it’s still all me there. Get 100 plein air artists to paint this scene and none will look like my painting.

This close up shows some Spanish moss on the right which I blobbed in some lines of dark green and very light green then scribbled through it with my palette knife, and some orange cypress needles done with my modified fan brush, some bark done with the modified fan brush, and some background trees painted with regular brushes taped to yardsticks.

This close up shows some Spanish moss at the top of the painting. It reminds me of a valence because I worked at sewing for most of my life. I made a lot of curtains and slipcovers but never anything as beautiful as a Spanish moss valence, so delicate, airy, graceful, and yet scary and spooky. I’d take it home and glue it to a cornice for my apartment but it probably has tons of tiny microscopic bugs in it that would come out and bite me. I’m afraid to pick it up when it’s on the ground.

This close up shows a lot of layers of paint. So many I can’t even count. Some in the background, middle ground, foreground and some yellow leaves on black sticks on top of all the rest.

It might seem like I painted every detail but I actually skipped a lot of things that I decided the painting didn’t need, lichens on the branches, stick bushes in the water and dead branches on the ground, dead leaves on the water etc.

The painting fell down again and picked up cypress needle dirt but that will brush off when it dries.

This close up shows my attempt to make sunlight on top of reflections because I could see the reflections through the sunlight. This is a calm place in a busy painting so the art viewer’s eye will find a place to rest. The eye will also go to rest in the background. So, hopefully, the Spanish moss and the orange cypress needles will keep the viewer’s eye going from background to foreground, and around the canvas again.

19 thoughts on “swamp painting finally finished / oils”

  1. great explanation/description. I so miss painting plein air..its just so hard working nights- i sleep most of day hours , then when i get up must run errands and such before stuff closes. Either way, i love your thinking on it, especially that you state you dont need to express emotions when you paint. I feel the same way.If i try to purposely express any emotion it just comes out all garbled and dull. I am actually one of those rare artists who focus almost entirely on technique and leave the deep complex “head stuff” out of it. I am always a part of my work, and that will never change:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yeah, working nights will make it impossible to paint in plein air. Hang in there. When you retire your time will be your own and you can relax and do the art you want to do. We think alike in that we don’t need to express emotions in our work. It was verboten at YAA anyway. Fitzkee told me, “Don’t clean out the cobwebs from your brain onto the canvas. no one wants to see that.” hahah. I agree! Way too much emphasis is placed on self expression in modern art, when it comes out anyway in a painting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve just been at it for around nine months, and am starting to be passable…lol. After I commented myself to watercolors, I read it’s harder to master than acrylics and oils, but by then, I was determined to soldier on. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Margaret! I think the illusion of depth comes from trying to match the colors and values of nature. I don’t think I could do it with acrylics because it takes too long to mix the colors and acrylics dry so fast. But plein air painting is good for your health no matter what medium you use so go for it and do your thing!

      Liked by 1 person

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