Sunday, June 28, 2009

Evolution of a Painting

After concentrating on making books lately, I took a detour and began a new painting. Or, more accurately, recycled an old painting. It was one I started after my first acrylic painting class, based on an Irish landscape photograph in a book. I added a couple on horseback using clip art images and used student-grade paints. My title was “Riding the Hills.”

I never really liked the painting since the imagery was based on other people’s work. And, at that point, I really didn’t have a lot of experience painting or much skill doing realism. My favorite part was the real sand mixed with acrylic medium and spread over the canvas with a palette knife. It represented stone walls.

Falling asleep one night, I had a vision of painting over the whole canvas, only leaving the sand area. I could abstract the initial idea with a blur of green hills the riders might see on horseback as the landscape whooshed past.

So, I got out all my green paints as well as favorite yellows and blues to mix green from. I extended some of the sand walls with white paint but accidentally got some on the very brown sand. I liked the effect and decided to paint over all the sand sections with white. The texture was fantastic!

Turning the painting on different sides, those former stone walls could be a branch, a twig, a tree, or some other vague organic shape. Then, I began filling in the other areas with different green segments. After a while, that seemed too stiff so I began mixing the greens all over the whole canvas. The piece began to have some movement in it.

Some sand areas I greened over entirely. I liked how it looked. Working on my mixed-media nature sampler books heightened my connection to Nature; the evolving image appeared to be a very simplified and streamlined statement of nature and Her attraction. Not a romp through green hills, but a close-up of a very small segment of Her grandeur.

The next time I worked on it, the white seemed too jarring, so I covered it with various browns. It still seemed too green overall. So, I darkened the interior areas and being freer with my big bristle brush. Where I had been so careful before, keeping within the lines, now I was swishing it around until I found some color combinations I like.

acrylic on canvas
24" x 30"



  1. art that combines recycling with visions, wonderful!

  2. HI!
    I really enjoy your art, your works are wonderful!
    Now, I'm your follower...I have been able to avoid it?certain that no, impossible!
    Hugs from Italy!
    See you sonn :)

  3. Isn’t great when you can combine the two, Juliet?

    Hello Mony and welcome! I love the translator on your blog and have added one to mine. Art does indeed cross oceans and borders.