5 things to try when a painting isn't working

When something is bothering you with a painting and you just can't put your finger on what it is......
What do you do?
Well, these are some of the things I do...

1.  Look at the painting in a mirror. It's amazing how all of a sudden the 'errors of your ways' becomes apparent.

2.  Look at your painting upside down... and if you are working with a reference image, turn that upside down too. BINGO!  Your inaccuracy's are somehow easier to spot in the "inverted position". (nod to Top Gun)

3.  Take a digital photo and look at it on the computer... I don't know why this works... but I can't tell you the number of times I go to post an image, and whoa... I can spot an error or area of a painting that needs a bit more work before posting.

4.  Once you have the image on the computer... If you have any photo editing software... play around with your wacky ideas on the virtual painting... This method is especially helpful for me if I have a lot of hours into a piece...You can be very bold and try all those "what if's" without actually touching the painting. Some very creative solutions can happen this way.

5.  Start a critique group.... This is a group of artists (not necessarily all painters) that schedule meetings to do a sort of "show and tell." If you're stuck... Your critique group friends will help you sort out what's wrong. They also cheer you on, and motivate you with their efforts.  I really miss my critique buddies since we've moved.  sniff sniff. But this is such a valuable group (both personally and professionally) that I'll be sure to find like minded peeps here in northern MI.  It's a goal.

This photo has nothing to do with the article I just posted... but the berries this year are glorious and I wanted to share. :)


"Moondance" 28x22" Acrylic on Canvas (c)2011 LEF

I started this one a couple of years ago and then it just sat there. I liked the idea, but needed the moon to be actually round... which it wasn't...(and that isn't as easy to paint as it sounds.) So, I started back at it last week and finished it up. I'm patting myself on the back for persevering.

The milkweed leaves look like they have "jazz hands"...which makes me laugh but support the title.
"Moondance" will be part of Glen Arbor Art Association's show next weekend (October 7 through the 9th) They are participating in Leelanau's "Fall for Art" event. Moondance is very excited to show itself after such a long wait in the wings. 

Fall is in the air...finally!

Fall 2009... What we have to look forward to!

Ok... I have figured out that I like the "idea" of summer... Picnics, lounging on the decks, boat rides, golf... but the actual summer...especially this actual summer, with it's hot temperatures and humidity...me no likey.

Today, I needed a hoodie to go down the drive to get the paper. aaaahhhhhhh. Fresh air. It reminded me of the house we lived in in Rochester Hills, MI... We were close enough to the high school that we could hear the marching band practicing in the dark of the early morning. I just loved waking up to the far away beat of the drums and faint music. Nothing like the star spangled banner to get you up in the morning. :)

I really miss that herald of early fall. Maybe I'll grab my kazoo, and march down the drive humming my favorite show tunes. I'm sure our neighbors would appreciate it as much as I did....don'tcha think?

Even without the cooler temps... I can see a change in the quality of the light. The sun is lower in the sky... the colors are becoming more saturated... Magic.