Whether we're painting from life, or photos, our job is not to copy what we see. The complexity of detail, color and the range of light in nature is overwhelming, and photographs are full of all kinds of lies and errors that are deadly to our art. Painting is about the composition of shapes, values and color designed to evoke something beyond simple recognition of the subject matter.
All the skills and information we are amassing are the tools we use in our efforts to interpret the subject. Our interpretation is more important than what we're looking at. The subject reference doesn't present us with much that's ready to be painted. Life or photographs are just the painter's departure point. There is much thinking and planning to be done, before we mix the paint and put it on the canvas. Questions to be answered about how we'll arrange things. and solve problems. All with the hope of creating harmony, balance and a connection for the viewer. So many things that can frustrate our efforts! Much of what is seen will need to be discarded when we see that it is non-essential to what we're trying to paint. Simplification is necessary to managing the ingredients that go into a painting. There's the key!
©Jimmy Longacre 2017
20X24 oil on canvas panel
subjective realist landscape paintings