Saving Wells Harbor

Today’s blog follows up on the story of last week’s plein air adventures in Wells Harbor, Maine.  Nobody spoke up for my first start, which I had abandoned after the evil umbrella attacks.  Silly of me to expect anyone to dispute that the first painting was a “wipe out” (meaning, the paint should be wiped off so that the panel may be reused for a better painting).  If the artist who had been originally inspired to paint a scene can’t defend it, who could?  

Just to remind you, here is the original half-baked painting:

I felt a little tug on my heart from this sad little guy.  Wasn’t its fault that I couldn’t cope with the evil umbrella.  The composition was good, and that’s the most important element.  To try an salvage the painting, I had to invest only my time and a little paint, and even if the effort were to fail, I would learn something.   

I redrew the structural elements and played with the colors of the water in the foreground and the foliage in the background.  I added interesting details, such as the lettering on the banner on the ramp.  The salvaged version may need more work, but I am pleased enough with the progress. 

I also worked on the second painting, the one I hoped would be salvageable.  Here is how it looks today:

Here is the half-baked version:

(The tarp color was not changed–the light in which I photographed the painting changed.)  

The improvement to the second painting is not as dramatic because the painting did not start out as hopeless as the first one.  Some remaining rough spots should be simple to fix–I don’t like the doors much, and I think I might be able to improve on the way I suggest distant buildings in the background.

Meanwhile, for this whole week, I am taking a figure workshop with Sean Beaver at the NH Institute of Art–from 9 to 4:30 Monday through Friday, it leaves me little time to do anything else.  I am in heaven!  Next week you will be hearing about that in great detail.

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