Wednesday, March 20, 2013

River of Dreams

Does it make sense now?

This painting went through a major transformation after it was finished the first time.  

My friend and I went to Painting with a Twist where they give you exactly what paint you'll need, tell you which brushes you'll need, and show you every stroke to place on the canvas.  It's lots of fun to go with a group, especially when most of those participating
 are non-painters who are thrilled to leave with a finished painting.  

They don't mind if you stray from their instructions, so right away Jolene and I decided to lose the rainbow in the background.  Besides that, we both tried to be good students and follow directions.  But as we were finishing, we both had the feeling that something wasn't right. The painting didn't make sense.  The tree took over everything even on the opposite side... the bridge didn't lead anywhere and it wasn't even a bridge since it was only one-sided... The water just stopped at the sky...

So we both went home and reworked what we'd done.  (Jolene went first because she's probably braver! Here is her finished-revised-finished again piece.  Love her new colorful trees lining the riverbank!) It was hard for me because, first of all, it's acrylic which is not the medium I'm used to.  Second, I had nothing to look at... YIKES!  That's when I was reminded that I had learned the skills of painting... I wasn't born with that artistic way of thinking.  (It's back to that skill vs talent debate.)  Being reminded keeps me humble. :)

First I simply blacked out the bridge and took the rainbow hump out of the sky strokes. Next I used some green on the bottom of the sky to create a horizon. Then I skinny-ed up the water and gave it a path to follow and added some more grasses on the other side of the canvas.  I like it now... maybe not realistic, but kind of dreamy.  

There was a lot of Billy Joel music playing while I was painting this, so "River of Dreams" seemed an appropriate name. 

 Acrylic Painting on 16x 20" Wrapped Canvas


  1. Sounds like you had fun and I know for a fact that you are a good student even when you regardless of learning something for the first time or something over. I like your painting and I love hearing about your experience. I also know that it is hard to change media when you are used to one. You did great as usual. I also know that you were an encouragement to all the others who were not experienced painters. 0+0+

  2. Of COURSE, you listen to and like Billy Joel. Did you have him on 8-track too? When you and your husband were going out?

    1. Well, not the 8-tracks, but yes... every album all the way back to Attila (the band he had before he was Billy Joel)!