Here is the last one and if not finished, it is at least very close to being so - I'm not completely happy with the colours in this photo though: they are deeper and richer in real life - I tried darkening it a bit but then everything became dull, especially the light colours and the darks just died and lost definition. My camera has been acting up lately in different odd ways so I'm thinking that it may be time for a new one. But I don't really want to have to deal with that at this time.
This painting took a bit more effort than it's mate (leaning on the wall) and I think that the blurry brush below gives a good indication of that! It will now go up on my living room wall so that I will see it at different times and in different light without really paying attention - I find that that is the best way of discovering details that need changing - otherwise I'm too close to it to be truly objective. And on July 2 it will meet the discerning and critical (but friendly) eyes of two very good long time artist friends, whose work I respect, and they will tell me without mercy!
We have now met monthly for close to ten years to show each other our new work in order to get an honest opinion and positive critique, and it is invaluable: we are truly ruthless and who else will tell you?? Every one else will want to be nice - or even worse: polite - and/or may not really know much about art so will not feel confident enough to give you their true opinion; but with these two I know that if they say it stinks, at least they know what they are talking about and they have my best interest at heart and are not just out to hurt me!! They have never actually said that but rather: you can do better than that - now go home and do some more work on it - or put it away and get back to it later. We never say WHAT to do as that is up to the artist to figure out and usually, if you agree (you are under no obligation to believe them) you can most often see what the problem is - so when you start again it will become clear. Another benefit of our meetings is that it keeps you working so that you will have something new to bring - and something that measures up! We also mention good points, of course!
So this is all well and good, but what am I going to do with these new paintings? A good question as I'm not a member of the Fort Gallery anymore so I don't have a yearly show coming up - my choice, as it became too much pressure both to show and to volunteer to all the work needed in a co-operative gallery, as well as dealing with the long commute in ever increasing traffic, especially more and more huge trucks going fast! I don't really know, except that I wanted some time to just paint without pressure and see where it took me - that continues though I'm starting to think about what to do next? In a little while I will probably start looking around for opportunities to have a show somewhere interesting - but not just yet! We will see - getting a show is easy, but getting it where you want it - NOT so easy!