Lowcountry by the Ashley River

Lowcountry by the Ashley River

I haven’t been doing a great job of painting small since my value study. I tried sketching a few things as it was suggested in my small painting book, but that didn’t seem to go anywhere.

I have been however, working slowly on my large Charleston tree scene, that I think I’m going to name Lowcountry by the Ashley River, since our house is a few hundred yards from the Ashley River, and this scene is commonplace to the Lowcountry.

What I am noticing about my progress on this painting, is that it is similar to practicing the marimba. Some days I feel great about practicing, making numerous strides, learning new things, and walking away with a few more musical ideas to think about until the next practice session. Other days, I feel that I have no business even attempting to play the marimba…or oil painting. I think this is typical of the learning process, and is simply part of the journey to learning new things.

What I have also become aware of with painting is that if I don’t feel like I’m doing something productive to my painting, and possibly making it worse, I’ll step away. I’ve had this happen when practicing marimba as well. If I’m hitting a punch of wrong notes today, and not making any musical progress, why not just go do something else and come back to it? Usually there are a plethora of swear words thrown in for good measure before coming to this realization, but it does eventually happen.

I feel that I’m fairly close to being done with the leaves on my trees, only needing to add a few background branches into the mix. I’ve started blocking out the shadows of the trees, and will start experimenting with how to make some wispy, tall grasses in the forefront, keeping in mind the position of the sun in this scene. Essentially the bottom half of the painting is just blocked out, and I’m not sure what exactly to do next. I assume that is all part of the process. I’ll try to post another progress report in a few days.