Friday, November 15, 2013

Foothills Above Santa Barbara

"Foothills Above Santa Barbara...1999"
16"x20" Oil on Canvas

"Foothills Above Santa Barbara...2013"
16"x20" Oil on canvas

I painted the first version of this painting in 1999. I thought I was done at that point. I never varnished it after it had dried because the more I looked at it the more I felt it just didn't feel finished. Late last year I put it back on the easel and made lots of changes. I added the larger trees in the mid ground and totally revamped the foreground. I also added more rocks in the mountains. It sat drying once again but still I felt it was missing something. I decided to go at it once more and make more subtle changes to the foreground  especially the flowers. I touched up the trees with branches and added twigs and smaller branches to areas of the bushes. At this point I'm calling it finished for good because it now feels finished.
The upper photo is very much like the scene actually looked. I wanted those dark shaodws of the mountains and probably overlooked the rather mundane mid and foregrounds of the original scene. What I added and changed was out of my head but I think adds more interest. Switching the point of interest from the mountain shadows to the trees was better for the painting regardless of the accuracy of the scene. I still see what I liked in those dark shadows along the mountains, they now add to the total painting. I think that had I not added the tall trees and just revamped mid and foreground colors, flowers and grasses it might have worked that way too forcusing on the mountains again....hmmm, idea for another painting.   


Karen said...

Wow. This makes me want to pull out some old paintings! I like the finished piece a lot! It's fun to compare this with the original. Thanks for sharing.

Ron Guthrie said...

Yeah, go through the old ones and see what could be reworked. Sometimes I will take random detail shots of a painting and end up painting those in larger size. This one is now finished and looke really cool...can't wait to frame it. Thanks Karen.