A Radical Departure

I love each new issue of Artist magazine I receive. I always find inspiration in its pages, and even more, I find myself being challenged in new ways. I’m continually being pushed to try things that are beyond my skill level. The articles and how-to’s help me step away from my artistic comfort zones and look at the world — and my expression of it — from many different perspectives.

The experience has taught me that art isn’t a singular concept. We can approach it from any direction. It is ours to create as we choose.

A recent article shared an art journey along the Dalmatian Coast of the Adriatic Sea, including the island of Korcula and the main town, also called Korcula. It’s a medieval walled town surrounded on three sides by water, and “whose buildings mass up to a central spire of the cathedral.” 


As soon as I saw this walled city, I wanted to paint it. I loved the jumble of shapes, the contrast of the red-orange rooftops against the sea, and that gorgeous spire of the cathedral rising above it all.

Of course I could never really paint a scene like this, but why let that stop me? I wanted a chance to explore the city as an artist, to play with all those shapes, to enjoy the colors, and to create something uniquely my own.

The scene was such a radical departure from my usual painting that it became almost a dare.

I began with an orange-toned canvas panel, then with pencil, I drew in a mish-mash of buildings, using the spire as a focal point. Next, I used a brown acrylic to outline the buildings. It was impossible to tell where one ended and another began, but that was precisely what I loved most about Korcula.

Another radical departure for me was using a new set of water-soluble oils to create a simple underpainting, blocking in some of the brighter colors. Later, after the underpainting had dried, I used my usual oil paints to play with the colors of the houses, and to add windows and doors. I left a little bit of a street — is that what it really is? And I used dark greens, reds, and other colors to add trees growing along the edges.

Radical Departure

I like my crazy, mixed-up town of Korcula. It was a fun painting to do, and I’m very happy with how it turned out. It’s different from my usual art, and maybe that’s what I find so appealing about it.

Sometimes we need to make radical departures from the ordinary, especially in art.



    1. I like it because it was one of those rare moments when the finished painting resembled the idea I had in my head. It was totally unpretentious and fun to paint. In a way, it was like doing one of my little “doodle monsters” — it didn’t matter about proportions or perspectives. It was an “anything goes” experience. I’m glad you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My criterion for success has always been the simplest of all–does looking at the finished painting bring me joy. If so, it doesn’t matter what style, what accuracy or inaccuracy, what use of materials are involved. I think you have succeeded!

    Liked by 1 person

I'd Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s