Monday, December 31, 2012

Sunny Lake Beneath Trees - Oil Painting - SOLD

Version 2.0 - March 4, 2012
UPDATE - December 31, 2012
This painting is now in the collection of Joe and JoAnn Nathan.

UPDATE - March 4, 2012
I added some additional glazing to this painting and some revisions to the water and trees. I contrasted more light with darks and highlighted the light reflections on the water. This painting will need to dry for about 3 to 6 months. $125.00 unframed.

January 13, 2012 - Today I worked on this painting for a couple of hours, adding some detail to the tree and water. I think it's just about done. I was thinking that this would be a nice painting to work on when it's 12 degrees outside and on a Friday the thirteenth. Maybe I'll try some drawing later, then it's back to work.


  1. Marty, how do you determine when a painting is done? Does it just feel right? Does a little voice tell you something? What happens when you work on a project past the point of done-ness? Reading about your creative process is fascinating! Susan

    1. Hi Susan - Please see my response below. Thank you for these great questions, they really stirred up my thinking.

  2. Hi Susan,

    Thank you so much for the great question. You really made me think about this...

    I think there are people that would be surprised to learn that painting is not just an art, but a science. By that I mean there is a process that painters follow in the construct of a painting such as, doing thumbnail sketches, mapping out the lighting, doing an underpainting with the correct warm or cool tones and then blocking in large shapes and colors. The process is very methodical, very rooted in proven science. And yet these, "secrets" are guarded like treasure. Uncovering them has been one of my life's greatest challenges.

    I cannot begin to pretend I know or even practice all of these methods in the ways they are supposed be. I try, but often fall short. Painting like writing (as you know much better than I) is a process of refinement and learning. Pulling back the veil of mystery is an adventure often fraught with disappointment, fits and starts and dead ends.

    To your original question about when a painting is done. I've heard and read that the best artists will tell their students a painting is done just before they think it is. In other words you can really mess things up in a painting by, "over-working" it or adding too much detail or trying to refine the colors, tone or composition.

    As for me, I'm still learning. When I draw I know absolutely when it is done. With drawing I am confident, bold and unafraid. My Mother taught me to draw and helped me with the mysteries of drawing, but she didn't paint so I never learned painting.

    Now when I paint it is so much more a mystery to me. I am trying with all my heart and soul to just let painting take me wherever it wants to go. I am trying desperately to not try so hard...if that makes any sense at all?

    I apologize for the lengthy answer, but you really got me thinking...