The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog started in my second year of working almost exclusively from the figure.

In the fall of 2015 I reintroduced still lifes and an occasional cityscape into my painting repertoire. Rather than abandon this figure blog or start a new one I decided to add them to the conservation.

All drawings and paintings posted on this blog were done entirely from live models or on location.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Overreach

In a post awhile back I featured a painting that in hindsight I called an "overreach" (see August 27, 2014). Even though the painting was ultimately unsuccessful I don't regret doing it. It is important to venture beyond ones competence zone occasionally. Frustration can set in if you work there too often but only by periodically overreaching can you develop as a painter.

During a visit last summer to The National Gallery in Washington, D.C. I had the good fortune of seeing one of Titians' versions of Danae. The painting emitted an unmistakable power. As a painter I was both humbled and inspired in its presence. I savored my time in front of the picture.

Titian, Danae, oil on canvas, 1544-1545
Capodimonte Museum, Naples

My studio is strewn with unsuccessful paintings. The reasons for failure are varied but I now see that too few failed from aiming too high. Most are minor in scale and intent. Will I ever do a painting that even approaches a Danae? Of course not. But a painting like Danae dangles in front of me like a big sweet carrot on a string. I hope I still have what it takes to keep reaching for it.


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