Art Monday: loosening up

Painting is still a learning process, or as I refer to it, a struggle. It's rare that I produce a piece I am 100% okay with. Going back and forth on the amount of realism I want to inject into my work is a part of the struggle. The small oil sketch above is a light in the tunnel for me, or perhaps a point-change mutation with beneficial traits being expressed, if you prefer.

This piece, Callimorphia dominula, was created for a colleague as a Secret Santa gift. (The recipient is extremely talented, and though I don't often refer to folks at my day-job, keeping the two worlds separate, you can see Ash's paintings here.) Since her name is Ash, I painted leaves from an ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior), and a Scarlet Tiger Moth - - or is it one of the faerie-like Meliae?

The mutation for me was in the attempt to create a thickly-painted -one might say slathered- background, and a realistic foreground.

The background here on the left is obscured, partly because I put the still-very-wet painting onto my scanner, and it left shadows of the sticky paint when it scanned. What you're missing there is largely off-white, with a hint of blue-green.

In the coming months, I hope to get a number of paintings developed, and this little sketch feels like I've uncovered a small but vital technique that breaks a block I've had for a while.

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