Painting should never look as if it were done with difficulty,
however difficult it may actually have been.
– ROBERT HENRI, in his book The Art Spirit
I myself do nothing.
The Holy Spirit accomplishes all through me.
– WILLIAM BLAKE
Wild White Irises • 12 x 12 inches • WORK-IN-PROGRESS
Here’s just a part of the painting as it is so far. LOTS of layers of transparent color for the underpainting, to get that deep, rich color of the shadow at the foot of the oak tree where these white irises are growing ... I’ve been taking lots of progress photos to show, when I get this one finished.
Thought I’d share a bit of my mental process so far:
1. At the beginning, I’m not sure where I’m going with all these colors, and how I’m going to accomplish the delicate yet hardy feel I was after for these irises.
2. I start thinking: it’s no use. It’s never going to look the way I’m picturing in my imagination.
3. My computer crashes. Great. I won’t have access to my reference photo (which I took back in the spring) for a while. I decide to continue the painting from memory.
4. It’s not working. I start to really dislike this painting. It’s awful.
5. I take a break from this one to paint a picture of Roadie looking out the window.
6. I come back to this one with fresh eyes and a fresh attitude, letting go of what I started out thinking it should be. Just painting spontaneously. Little surprises that I really like start happening with the colors.
7. I start really enjoying working on this painting. And I’m looking forward to finishing it tomorrow.