Monday, May 11, 2009

Go with the Flow

I just returned from the Sonoma Plein Air painting competition. It was a great experience with challenging weather, good crowds and a very talented group of artists. My friend and fellow painter Robert Sandidge won the Artist Choice award with a well-deserved entry. Thanks also goes out to founding artist Keith Wicks for his hard work in making the show such a success and honor to be a part of.

The week started out with rain, but you can always find an interesting subject if you look for it, as is what happened with “Puddle Patterns” above. I am never opposed to altering my original idea if the opportunity presents itself  and what started out as a simple road scene was completely revised after noticing the amazing sky reflections in the water.

Upon pulling over and trying to figure out the composition for several minutes, I walked around to see if there were other good views. Once I saw the puddles, everything changed. My idea of the road leading you up to the tree was revised to be the puddles. I used the dirt and grass to widen my entry into the painting. Then made the puddles smaller in size as they went back into space. As I was painting the reflections and enjoying them more, I decided they would become the main focus. The original focus of the tree was now secondary, so I kept it simple and everything else soft. I also juxtaposed the sky clouds to the angle of the mountain so your eye zig-zags down from the top. The hard edge where the road meets the dirt was varied so as not to detract from other important areas.

Taking my time to stop and smell the roses turned out to be a good thing after all! Enjoy.


  1. Dinah and Jim CostelloMay 12, 2009 at 1:41 PM

    Glad you took the time to check all angles. Puddle Patterns is a masterpiece--and I'm happy to say it belongs to my husband and I. Thanks, Greg!!!!!

  2. Hi Dinah and Jim
    Thank you again ... yes, it was one of my favorites from the week too.

  3. The puddles add the magic to this one Greg. Without them it wouldn't be as interesting to look at. I like how the road draws me in, the puddles reward me along the way and the dark green tree and fence posts give me more to see once I'm deeper into the picture. Beautiful.

    You are really good at painting water reflections. I've noticed in several other paintings you've done that you will often use the reflection as an important part of the composition.

  4. This is a great piece. The feeling of near and far is very clear and inviting. I appreciate the commentary you provide. Thanks!