Landscape Oil Painting Outdoors/Landscape Painting Plein Air

I Lied!

Dish soap Version 1
Dish soap Version 1

I thought it wasn’t good enough and so mucked with it some more (below) but now I wish I hadn’t. This is the theme of today’s post. Lesson learned: Leave well enough alone, or as my boss always says, “It’s good enough for jazz!”

Dish soap and sharpener
Dish soap & sharpener, watercolor 7x4"

And here is another poor retread, worked over and over.

Sibley Final Revision, 12x9" Oil on panel
Sibley Final Revision, 12x9", Oil on panel

I’m not sure whether it’s better to start a new painting or push one that isn’t working to try to make it work. I know I said the SIbley painting was finished, final revision, moving on…but I lied. I spent a couple hours trying to change the composition so that there was more of a path into the scene. That meant getting rid of the wall and while I was at it, I added a little more warmth.

I promise: now I’m really done! And you know what’s really funny? When I scrolled down and looked at all the different versions I like the very first one best!

Frustrated at wasting time and getting nowhere I tried doing a quick watercolor (above) before bed. I should have just gone to sleep since I don’t like it either. Oh well. Tomorrow (well actually today, since it’s after midnight) will hopefully be a fun plein air day.

5 replies on “I Lied!”

always a pickle. sometimes it seems like we need interventionists to pull us away from the canvas. thanks for blogging on these internal debates.
as an aside, the compositional problem of a form parallel to the panel-edge is interesting… i’ve seen people tackle it just by eroding part of the form to make the line more irregular. I’ve also just repainted the subject onto a new canvas to see if it looks better cropped down. i’m kind of attracted to the awkwardness of the composition, even though it breaks a “rule”. Wish you a good painting day with some fresh discoveries tomorrow. -robin


I liked the stone wall. It added a statement about separating you from the lush landscape. I thought the form was necessary for the composition. My favorite was the darker wall, which really pushed the wall to the forefront.


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