I started this 16"x20" oil painting in the Fall of 2009, at the Santa Barbara Rose Garden. Last Wednesday, (unlike last Fall), there were no flowers or clouds. Instead used the opportunity to demonstrate how to finish a painting borrowing from local color, imagination, and memory to bring it together.
I approached the painting asking, "What's wrong with this painting?". I look at my painting, then my subject, try to remember what it was looking like when I painted it months ago, then strive to make adjustments for contrast and "punch" it up a bit.
Just like in the beginning of the painting (when I lay in the masses), I work dark to light. Since this was a loose, impressionist beginning, I worked to stay expressive with my brush strokes, and thin with my glazing so the painting's surface would show very little overworking, or dry brush strokes. My intention is to keep the painting immediate and lively with just the right amount of variety from the configuration to the finishing highlights.
In this photo, the painting is still not finished, but it is far enough along that I can work on it for an hour or so in the studio; sign it, frame it, and hopefully sell it.
An Artist job is to produce. I paint and hope to sell, not paint to sell.