I once heard it said that a camel was a horse designed by a committee. I mention this because the painting I completed today might best be called a visual camel — it looks as though it was done by a committee of artists, each with a love of different colors, different styles, and different abilities.
That said, I do like bits and pieces of the painting. There’s this bit, for instance, a group of trees along the riverbank. Please, ignore the gigantic mountain in the background.
On the other side of the painting, there’s this bit:
Again, ignore the mountains. I’m sure somebody else on the committee must have painted them! I painted the broken-down tree, and I actually like the way it came out. You can see part of the river here, too. It’s in the center foreground, another piece I like:
I love the way I created the effect of light. As you can see, however, the colors on the left of the canvas are much different than the colors on the right. Two different artists, no doubt. How else can it be explained?
If I put these three pieces together, I have a painting that shows potential, I think.
Obviously a third artist worked on the trees in the background using yet another mix of green, and yes, you can see part of a tree whose branches are supposed to be overhanging the view. Trust me, though, you don’t really want to see the whole thing. That particular artist apparently doesn’t have much skill yet on painting tree limbs and leaves.
So, you really want to see the complete camel? You want to see the terribly out-of-proportion mountain and foothills? You really want to look at the ugly mess of limbs and leaves in the upper right corner? Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Note: I photographed this painting while it was still on my easel, which is slanted a bit, so I had to crop it to make the sides look straight. Part of the sides have been cut off a little.
Although I don’t like the finished painting, I do see a lot about it that gives me hope for my future as an artist. As you know, I’m still trying to figure out who I am and who I want to be, and I think there’s a lot of me in this painting. The river with its gentle light and the lower left foreground seem to truly represent what I want my art to be. I like the colors in both the river and the left foreground.
I was also fairly pleased with those trees on the right, although I’m not sure about the color. Maybe that green was a bit too bright. I do like the shape of the trees. I feel they’re an improvement over some I’ve painted in the past.
Learning to paint is a long, slow process, and success isn’t going to happen all at once. It’s always going to be a matter of bits and pieces, liking a little here, learning something new there, and in time, I hope I can put it all together in a way that truly expresses the voice I hear within.