"Crabapples", oil on panel, 5.5x6 inches
One of the great things about taking on a project to paint dailies is that it's a wonderful way tochallengeoneself, keep your work fresh and develop as an artist. It's with this pursuit in mind that I begin each new painting. I love to begin paintings and for me, this is the easy part. The challenge is always in finishing the work in such a way that it retains its freshness and doesn't get overworked.
Our neighbour has the most beautiful bounty on their crabapple tree and I could hardly wait to snip a few branches to set up for one of my little paintings. I'd been looking forward to painting these little rosy apples and so was totally sandbagged by the difficulty that was presented.
It was, by virtue of the small format, a very simple concept; no difficulty there. But as I quickly got into the painting I struggled with areas of it, not the least of which was dealing with the speed in which the greenery wilted. In the end, since I worked on it over a few days, I just went with the wilting, curling leaves and tried to make the most of it.
There comes a certain point in every painting where aesthetics trump the concept - or the reality. An artist must always be cognizant of this and be willing to look for possibilities that present themselves along the way, for the beauty of the painting.
In this particular instance, it became increasingly clear that the table top that I'd set up my still life on was competing with my beautifully rosy round apples and sabatoging my painting. Once I'd established this and altered the surface to a more neutral colour, allowing the beautiful apples to be the star of the show, things began to hum again.