Posted on

Through the Trees

20170127_120726Melissa Blue Fine Art

This painting has been nearly a decade in the making. That is kind of embarrassing to admit! Usually if a painting is just not working I paint it out and use the canvas for something else. This one, though, I always felt could be worth finishing. Finally yesterday I realized what I needed to do was to run a wash of light color over all the detail my younger self felt was so important in the far meadow. And just like that, the painting resolved itself. This seems like a metaphor for life, really . When I simplify, I find things become more clear.

50 thoughts on “Through the Trees

  1. Very nice, you accomplished depth in your painting. Not easy to do.

  2. How beautiful. Inspiring story as well. N.

  3. Trully beautiful and full of magic, Melissa!

  4. That is very kind, Pete. Thank you

  5. Oh decade’s race by these days so any embarrassment can be shelved. The end result is beautiful. πŸ™‚

    1. You’re right about that~they really do slide past, don’t they? Thank you, Phil.

  6. So lovely, I feel like I could step inside your painting.

  7. I’ve been in that scene several times. I’m glad you kept it.

  8. Have you? I’m really pleased my painting triggers a good memory, Jim.

  9. Some things just take time. πŸ™‚ I love the play of light on the tree trunks – nice work!

    1. You’re right about that, Eliza! Thank you πŸ™‚

  10. The sunlight on the tree trunks is wonderful! It does make me think of that excitement of reaching a clearing after walking through the woods for a while. Though maybe here you are looking back at the clearing? That is so neat that you figured out what the painting needed after a few years. The depth effect is lovely. A separation of two worlds. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Myriam! Separation of two worlds~that is exactly what I was trying to convey πŸ™‚ I remember the day when I felt desperate, and just sort of splashed light colors on the trunk. Afterwards it was, “Oh! that worked.”

      1. Oo, I like that! “Oh! that worked.” Such a treat when that happens! πŸ™‚ Now that I look at your painting again, I realize the lighting difference is not just in the depth. The close woods have that sense of mostly shade kissed by slivers of light while the fields have that sun bleached look. You pulled off a lovely painting light trick!

      2. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ You make me feel like a magician!

      3. You are!!! πŸ™‚

  11. It’s wonderful and such a great life lesson!

    1. Thank you so much, Gunta. I’m reading a wonderful book by Byron Katie about embracing what is. There is a line in there where she talks about enlightenment and I loved it when she said it is a moment by moment thing. You might have an enlightened thought, but the next one might not be. πŸ™‚ That made me smile!

      1. Good it made you smile and also a good reminder of those of us who are working at it, but not always entirely successful! πŸ˜€

      2. I looked up the author and it seems my library has at least one of her books. Planning to give it a go.

      3. I’ll be interested to hear what you think. I find her thoughts a little mind-bending but when I stick with it I really do feel uplifted. I hope you’ll experience the same.

  12. What a beautiful illustration of the wisdom of life! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Liz! πŸ™‚

  13. Time to quote Shakespeare again: ” ’tis a consummation / Devoutly to be wished.” Happy resurrection.

    Here’s a metaphysical question: do you think that what the painting needed now is different from what you would have felt it needed back then?

    An easier question: have you kept any unfinished works from even farther back than ten years?

  14. That is an interesting question. I’ve stared at it for all this time, and have tried one thing and another. I think it always needed this remedy, but it took me this long to see it.
    As to the other question, this is the clear winner in terms of hanging around the studio in awkward incompleteness. I do have another that has languished for 3-4 years, but that is more a question of not getting to it. The funny thing I’ve found about the mind is that when it is holding a thought, time doesn’t really pass, even though it obviously is. I’ve heard other artists comment on this as well. Do you experience this as well?

  15. I still have a couple of “starts” from 2005-2006 in my draft files, and 168 drafts. Some are little more than a title and a few words. Others are only a quotation and some reflections. Others are nearly finished, but are resisting.

    One thing I’ve learned is that, if a piece just isn’t right, obsessing over it — working harder and longer on it — never results in anything good. I’m convinced that a good story, a good essay, will come to completion eventually, but they often need to lie fallow before that happens.

    It is interesting to me that my etherees never lie around in the files for very long. They always start with a line, or two or three, and complete quickly. And they always start with images and words: never with an idea. I think the longest I’ve ever worked on an etheree is a few weeks. Even different sort of poems take longer.

    I’m thinking what it would be like to have 168 canvases stacked up around here. Manuscripts/cyber files certainly don’t take up as much room.

    The painting, by the way, is beautiful. And what you say about the wash, and simplification, rings true. My current post started out at nearly 3,000 words. Published, it’s 1,762. That’s a whole lot of self-editing, but too many words would have muddied the story line.

    1. You are so right that trying to force it never works. I chuckled at the idea of 168 canvases stacked up. Wow! you’d need another studio to retreat to!!

  16. I love it. It was certainly worth finishing. As a newbie, I have found washes often resolve my concerns.

    1. Washes are a happy discovery, aren’t they? Although they can take a bit of courage to apply! Thank you Robyn

  17. Simply. That’s great advice! I love this light in the foreground framing trees! What a gorgeous meadow. I adore your color palette with the blues, yellows, greens, pinks, and purples. It’s so uplifting to me.

    The view here is stunning. I’d love hiking to this spot and spending time just gazing out on the view. I’d find my happy place in no time!

    1. Your words have really lifted me up this morning! I was afraid I’d been a little to Walt Disney with my colors on this one. I’m so glad you like them. Thank you!

    2. Also, you’ve reminded me of a curious thing I encountered along that trail. When I would walk it I would feel energized, more than I would feel elsewhere. Later I learned of Ley Lines. Are you familiar with them? I have often wondered if this trail follows a Ley Line. In any event, it is a happy place πŸ™‚

      1. I wouldn’t doubt it! There are positive energies all over the world, and high places, and bodies of water are common sights for them.

      2. I didn’t know that. How cool is that. Maybe if I go visit that stretch of trail again it will help me finally shake this darned cold πŸ™‚

      3. I hope you do! I finally got over it, only to catch another one! πŸ™

  18. This is wonderful, Melissa. I landed here from Cindy Crosby’s blog and was instantly taken with your incredible talent. I love the way you illustrate nature. I rely on a camera to convey things that inspire me… what I wouldn’t give to have your abilities.
    -Mark

    1. Oh how kind you are, Mark. Thank you!

    2. Wow, Mark, I just popped over to your website and am knocked out by your work. Do you have plans to visit Illinois Beach State Park?

  19. Hey Melissa, thanks! I was at IL Beach once years ago. It’s a great pace to photograph and on my list of places to get back to. Anything in particular I should look for up there? By the way, I meant to mention the way you bring out texture and line in your work reminds me of anther of my favorite artists, Roslind Wise. http://www.rosalindwise.co.uk/index.html

    1. Thanks, Mark. I followed your link to her site, and can see the similarity. Her work is quite lovely.
      Last summer we were treated to great swathes of coreopsis along the Dune Trail. That might be a good draw for you. Also in that same area I’ve seen large blooms of spiderwort. Maybe I’ll see you out there!

  20. I’ve done the same with images I’ve captured, Melissa. Sometimes they sit and wait and sometimes it’s a case of new skills learned that are able to tease out something from what I thought was nothing. It’s always good to keep things in a “later” file.
    Along with everyone else, I am happy that you didn’t paint this one out and finished it. And, while I am making comparisons, this reminds me a bit of Maxfield Parrish’s work. πŸ™‚

  21. Wow, Maxfield Parrish? That is a huge compliment! Thank you!

  22. Awesome πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ

  23. A beautiful painting and a beautiful message!

  24. Well βœ’ pennedπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    1. I appreciate that, Eliza. Thanks!

      1. Yr welcome..πŸ˜„

  25. Awesome! Glad you finished it to bring closure. Thank you for following my blog as well. I like your work.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.