Painting intimate subject matter can be challenging. It's more difficult to know how to edit out the extraneous details, but leave in enough information so that the viewer "gets it." More often than not, I am drawn to these up-close and personal scenes over long distance vistas. That's just a personality trait I think. Many times I will be drawn to some sort of distant view, get out my gear and set up to paint, only to find I am more interested in the pile of rocks or clump of grass 10 feet in front of me.
This piece was painted at Weborg Point in Fish Creek Wisconsin. It is a prime example of what I am talking about in today's blog entry. Several of us were painting in the area as part of the Door County Plein Air Festival. We were to be on site for 5 hours. The town trolley made its rounds and dropped off folks at each of several artist painting spots throughout the painting period. There were lots of gorgeous works painted in oil, watercolor, and pastel that day. It was absolutely gorgeous weather, and we all had a great time. Passers-by were curious why I was set up, basically looking at nothing. At least, they saw nothing, until we engaged in conversation about my subject and its intrigue. Everyone else had set up looking into the bright sun, enjoying the beautiful icy green water. Yes, I did also paint two, smaller, studies of that as well, the distant islands, and the puffy clouds. This "portrait" of a clump of trees was the most fun piece I did all day. Perhaps it is because I DO love a challenge!