A summer (and paintings) of fiery skies .

This summer might be the worst one yet for destructive forest fires. (First published in August 2018).

Of course we know that this year, 2023, is by far beating all records as so many fires have been burning out of control all across Canada and elsewhere in the world.

I am counting these as done. So far, I have completed 10 little canvases of landscapes; however, these three will soon be painted over...

Summer Fire in the Sky- three fiery skies

The process is more important than the end result

I was thinking of all the summer fires when I painted these scenes.

Late in July, there were fires burning very close to my hometown in northern Ontario. Had these three paintings turned out to my satisfaction, they would have been part of the Canadian Vignettes I am working on this year.

As it is, these canvases will be painted over as soon as this post is published. I am not happy with them, but I wanted to finish them because the process is where the learning takes place.

That’s the nice thing about acrylic paints. The layers and textures on the canvas only add to the interest to subsequent paintings. Sometimes, they might even "suggest" a way forward that I hadn't thought of initially. I love those intuitive discoveries.

What am I hoping to learn? I want to "interpret" a landscape rather than try to paint it literally. That interpretation skill is rather elusive so far. To be more specific, the sky and the water are too much one colour and I find these paintings rather blah, boring.

Convenience of acrylic and mediums

Should the paint become too thick on the canvas,  texture or crackle paste will be added and I will experiment with various tools. Or perhaps adding elements of collage will make an appearance in the next iteration. So many possibilities!

It is very satisfying to rescue a painting and bring it back from the brink.

So with the gesso bottle close at hand, these three will get a new life.

How do you “save” a canvas or painting? Share your thoughts below in the Leave a reply box.









4 Responses

  • I remember doing a painting many years ago which as I progressed I was very happy, it included a yacht in the background and a beach umbrella and timber chair in the foreground, my husband told me that the umbrella was off skew so I tried to fix it to no avail, in the end I painted over it layer by layer then proceeded to paint s collection of shells, a painting I still have in my collection. The husband is still here also but no longer makes critical comments ??

  • I love the thickness of the canvas! I have had plenty “I am just not happy with this’ pieces but I usually don’t just gesso over them. I like to apply a couple of layers of paint on top. I spread the paint on, let it dry a little (but not totally), I then take deli wrap and place it over the pain, then remove it. It really has a nice effect, and I love that what was below it shows a bit. I will sometimes do this two or three times.

    • That is a great idea Tom. I myself have tried something similar for a background I was creating for “Tony” one of my dog portraits. I will give your method some thought…I could let some of the paint from this first try show through in areas and it would create more visual interest and more unexpected colours. Thanks for the suggestion! Cheers.

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