The development of a landscape painting

This is a fairly common theme for me – to share progress photos of paintings. I like people to see that a painting does not just come about in a few sittings, but often can undergo a complete transformation from its beginnings. I am guilty of getting attached to areas of paintings and not wanting to paint over them. But sometimes you just have to let that all go in the pursuit of something more. For it is only through the layering of the paint that I believe you can tell a full story. So here is the story of this one. I brought this piece in to art class at a stage where I thought it was close to finishing. And by becoming less attached and less precious with it I was able to explore completely new territory. I referenced the great Idris Murphy for this piece, both in my colour choice and in the banding of the landscape, as is typical of his compositions.

Early stages. Background and shapes on top of it.

Early stages. Background and shapes on top of it.

Early stages. Lots of loose brushwork and more colours.

Early stages. Lots of loose brushwork and more colours.

Introducing more colour and a few more shapes which makes it almost a bit too busy.

Introducing more colour and a few more shapes which makes it almost a bit too busy.

I attempt to put in a blue "sky" but feel it doesn't work and so I take it out again.

I attempt to put in a blue "sky" but feel it doesn't work and so I take it out again.

I take out the sky add in some greenery. Increase the earthy tones.

I take out the sky add in some greenery. Increase the earthy tones.

Now I try to experiment with creating a single shape but it's too bold a move and so I just keep going

Now I try to experiment with creating a single shape but it's too bold a move and so I just keep going

I start to pull out some larger shapes and knock back the rest and it all starts to get quite dark

I start to pull out some larger shapes and knock back the rest and it all starts to get quite dark

I introduce some green and start to love the top right hand corner...

I introduce some green and start to love the top right hand corner...

Now I flip it upside down which is an essential part of my process!

Now I flip it upside down which is an essential part of my process!

And then I go radical. My teacher encourages me to just obliterate it all and stop holding on and being precious. So I DO IT! And I quite like it.... But not the big contrasting shape. Its too much...

And then I go radical. My teacher encourages me to just obliterate it all and stop holding on and being precious. So I DO IT! And I quite like it.... But not the big contrasting shape. Its too much...

So I flip it upside down again.

So I flip it upside down again.

And back up again and change that big contrasting shape. I start to bring in some dappled elements from the view of the trees from my studio. I put in more shapes.

And back up again and change that big contrasting shape. I start to bring in some dappled elements from the view of the trees from my studio. I put in more shapes.

Then I sand areas back. And I keep pushing and playing and taking away until....

Then I sand areas back. And I keep pushing and playing and taking away until....

I get here. And I stop. It is ambiguous enough to be interesting yet still definitely a landscape. It represents the red earth of the land here in Newybar and the space I have around me in my new home. I have called it For Always because after moving 25 times I will not move again. This is my home.

I get here. And I stop. It is ambiguous enough to be interesting yet still definitely a landscape. It represents the red earth of the land here in Newybar and the space I have around me in my new home. I have called it For Always because after moving 25 times I will not move again. This is my home.