Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Madrone Skies, 10x12

   Earlier this Spring, when only the skunk cabbage showed signs of blooming, I painted this in a park in south Seattle.  Concentrating on the silhouette of the madrone (some say 'ma-drone' and some say 'ma-dro-na') I didn't notice what was happening in the composition.

What do you think bothers me?  It's painted pretty well, the colors are good...even interesting...but there is something about the way it was composed.  If you think you know, make a comment and enter for this month's drawing at the same time.  Go to: and make a comment.

They say never to publically criticize your own work.  Nuts to that....  I'll let you know what bugs me about this one in the next posting and you can see if we agree.

Another thing...but not about art (or maybe it is).  One of my favorite places on the web is TED where I can hear talks from interesting people.  Here is an inspiring talk by a young man from Malawi who at age 14, in trying to help out his family and village, became an international star.  The human spirit can be so amazing.


  1. eye is repeatedly drawn to the little bit of water in the lower right hand corner. Perhaps that bit could have been larger or in a different place???

  2. OH a quiz! When I looked at the picture before reading your comments, my thoughts were that it has a very nice soft movement to it - the way the trees curve, the birds and clouds - like a breeze. Studying it again from composition frustration eye keeps falling off the page to the lower right, going down that light space below the birds.

  3. Love the colors. If it were my painting I would try to make fewer shapes and do more repeated shapes. You could repeat the madrone tree shapes in the shadows and in the horizontal line of low bushes in front. It would also help if the size of the sky shapes on either side of the tree trunks were more different.

    Gorgeous color, however. I love that combination of violet and blue shadows over green grass.

    Congrats on putting this up for comments. It's a great way for all of us to learn.

  4. Very interesting idea to compare ideas from others about what might be a better way to do something. All have good points and could be good ideas, but I find it interesting how all of the ideas are different. Just goes to prove, there are lots of ways of handling and thinking about a painting.

    Compositionally, my eyes focus on the energy of the sky/couilds and the birds. The sky seems to circles into the painting and swoosh out with the birds. Nice contrast to the vertical planes of the trees.


Make a comment. I enjoy hearing what you have to say.