I paint most days but every few months there are times when it seems a challenge. Normally it is not because I don’t want to, but because I convince myself that I cannot do it.  I should prehaps let you be the judge of that. I have two strategies to get going again that tend to work.  One is to go for a walk along our local river during the evening Golden Hour  before sunset, the other being  to pick up my copy of John Carlson’s excellent book, Guide to Landscape Painting .   Recently doing the latter I noticed  his comments regarding the importance of shapes and edges when conveying the nature of objects.  Whilst not claiming to reach his standard I decided to try painting some tree without thinking or painting any leaves  – just thinking about Carlson’s advice.  I was pleased with the result, and the speed at which the painting progressed.  I notice in the photo that some of the dark shapes appear to “jump-out” which may the the photography, or may be something for me to review. I am now keen to get outside and try the same when plein air painting.


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