Ever start something one way, just to have it turn into something entirely different? That’s what happened with this painting. It meandered into something else of its own accord, and I just went along for the ride.
I’ve noticed while browsing the blogs of Different Strokes artists that some also do another event called Virtual Sketch Date. It’s similar to Different Strokes: An image is posted, and artists have a week to create their interpretation of it. I hope the VSD folks don’t mind me dropping in! I also hope I’m doing this right and didn’t take too much artistic license with the photo. If you want to see the reference image and all the cool art that was created from it, check out the site here.
“Winter Corn,” an oil painting by Lesley Spanos. © 2008, all rights reserved.
A little more about the process:
This is how the painting began. I started with an orange-ish ground, so I could lay down the snow in the field first, then scratch out the corn stalks. Plus I like the warmth of an orange ground peeking through cold snow.
I worked on it for an hour or so, but the more I painted, the more it didn’t look like me. It looked like a bad copy of a Thomas Kinkade painting, all goopy and sentimental and nostalgic, like a glitter-dusted Christmas card my grandmother would love. But as much as I hated it, I was going to leave it alone and post it, because they can’t all be winners, right?
Well, the next day, I couldn’t stand looking at it. “It’s already a mess, so I’ll just declare it a total loss and play with it.” Feeling a lot less pressure than before, I started stabbing at the canvas with a bristle filbert and lots more paint than I usually use. I’ve had Van Gogh on my mind lately and it was looking a little Van Gogh-ish, so I expanded on that theme. I know there will be people who prefer the first version, but I’m much happier with this one.
Here’s the painting earlier in the process during the second session. I’m not sure if it’s night or day in my scene. My light got a little confused, but the painting is really pretty the way it is, and I’ll take pretty over accurate any day.
Since I piled on a lot more paint than I usually do, I’m not sure how long it will have to dry before I can ship it. It will be available on Boundless Gallery when it’s ready for $125 with free shipping in the US. (International shipping at actual rates.) If you think you might be interested email me using the Contact form and I’ll let you know when it’s posted for sale.