How important is the background?
I think someone smarter or more artistic than me could answer this question with eloquence that would make perfect sense. There would be words like harmony, value, contrast, and lost edges.
I just know that I almost always make my backgrounds "too beautiful' to start with. I used to take my what-I-thought-were-finished paintings to class, and my teacher would say, "The background is too beautiful." It would make me sad because I'd love the background. But, I'd dutifully trust her and fuzz out, tone down, or blur the background. Then immediately the focus or the important part would pop out, move forward, and take the center stage.
This painting was an example of that. I painted it as a challenge piece for Studio Atelier. Other artists had submitted lovely versions of this image, but I just couldn't submit mine. I loved the apples, the leaves, the reflection. I couldn't figure out why I wasn't satisfied. Something was not right. When I showed my teacher, she said, "The background is too beautiful." I took an orange wash, covered the lovely blue background, and... wow! The apples popped into the forefront where they belonged.
Such a small trick. Such a big difference.
Click Apple Note Cards to be taken to the Etsy listing where these can be purchased.