How to Find the Inner Kid in Your Art

This Is a unique painting because of the many days it took to complete and the changes it went through from conception. The painting started out as an abstract drawing then went somewhat representative as a tonalistic under-painting, then back to what you see below, the abstract landscape.

The drawing Notan sketch was abstract but had some dark and lights that formed a cross. This happened to be one of the composition that Edgar Payne recognized, so I played with the thumbnail notan until I came up with a version I wanted to try and go large with -- 70x100 cm

Below, the early draft, or wash, of the painting followed the Notan closely but really became unsatisfactory. On the day I came back to look at it, I must have been feeling more conservative. I was thinking, if there's no energy in this abstracted landscape, then I may as well paint more conservative and representational.

But when I returned to the landscape oil two days later, the energy I felt after watching all the New Year fireworks across the city of Bogota must have still been with me. The conservative tonal painting wasn't what I was feeling. I wanted to express more energy and began playing with this. I don't think I could have immediately gone from the notan to the finished landscape unless I first went to the tonal version to see the structures more clearly.

What I learned

  • Be playful. Don't be afraid the change course

  • Everyday represents a new start, I can't let the work of a previous day overshadow the present

  • Change is good

  • I must recognize my feelings everyday and stay intouch with the kid in me if that kid happens to want to play that day and not other days -- especially on works that take more than one day.

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