Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter at Buena Vista Park

5 x 7 inches
oil on panel

I had a wonderful Easter morning painting these trees on the hilltop park of Buena Vista. There's a narrow sidewalk wrapping around the curved border of the park with a view of the city beyond and trees reaching out from the park overhead. If you look closely you can see the faint view of St Ignatius in the background.

I realized today painting for me comes down to just two things: Paint what I love to see, and look closely. Love and Look, essentially. When I am distracted by all the voices of my teachers in my head, when I am trying (and failing) to emulate painters I admire, when I am trying to paint like someone else instead of like myself, the painting fails (and I have no fun). But when I relax and just enjoy what I am looking at, the painting flows easily.

I have painted outdoors most days of the last two weeks. I wake up in the morning thinking about paint before I open my eyes. And when I do open my eyes, the first thing I do is look at the window to see the quality of the light. And then I jump out of bed and rush through my morning routine to get outside as soon as possible, while the shadows are still long and interesting.