Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Artistic license

When selecting a location to paint you don’t usually find everything is exactly as you would like it. A painting must be designed. If the composition would be better with the tree moved to the left a little, then you do it. Same thing if it would look more pleasing to have the path going a different direction than it does. A location should really be a starting point, the inspiration for the art. If it’s a familiar and recognizable place for many people, obviously you are going to try and capture that, but the artist needs to judge what to leave in and what to leave out to get the best result.

In the studio you have more time to design and make adjustments to the composition then when plein air painting. With this piece I took some artistic license. It’s based on a beach in Kihei, Maui. The house or hale, was really a two-story condo building. It had about the same roof line, but I wanted it to be a tropical beach cottage on stilts. The stretch of sand here was plain with nothing to the east to cast shadows, so I used some from a spot down the shore a little. The west Maui mountains were visible to the left, but really would have been off the canvas, so I brought them to the right leading to the house.

I’m happy with the way this turned out in my studio, but it wasn’t quite as enjoyable as standing along the shore, feeling the tropical breeze and listening to the waves as you paint. Two months till I go back.

Island hale, oil, 20" x 16"

1 comment:

Laurel Daniel said...

Beautiful painting, gorgeous composition, and great explanation of the decision making process!!! And I couldn't agree more - nothing beats experiencing a place first hand!!!