A painting has a life of it's own. I usually start with reference material but once the piece gets rolling, that is after the initial block in of big shapes and composition is established, I stop looking at the reference and look only at the painting. I start to ask it questions. What do you need? Are the values correct? Do the colors work? In this case there was no reference sketch or photo, just the initial strokes I made on the panel at the start so those questions came soon after.
The title came when almost finished. My titles often come to me as I'm working on the piece. Trees almost always have a female gender for me so that's where the "sisters" came from. What I thought was going to be the ground shadow looked like burnt under brush after a controlled or wild fire. You see this look when you hike in Florida forests especially in areas that have been logged. It wasn't my original intent to do a painting about wild fire aftermath, but it's what showed up so I went with it.
I actually really like the way it came out. It has a figurtive feeling reinforcing the idea it should be called Sisters of the Burn. It also has a somewhat surreal effect which adds to the visual story.
I have had it hanging on my wall for a while now. I made a few small changes after some time studying it. It's like doing a re write. Now I don't get tired of looking at it and seeing more visual stories. That is just about always my bench mark for a good painting. It doesn't get boring and new things appear. Like a fine wine, it improves with age.
Sisters Of The Burn 24 x 16 oil on wood panel"
|About half way through.|
|I added more blue to push the trees back|
|Later i addedmore high lights|