I don't usually rearrange many elements if a composition, but the photos I had of the cows in the field were not so great, so I took a scene and simplified it and moved them about. This is my entry for this weeks Daily Paintworks challenge, where you can see some other great cow paintings.
I was painting with my dad and we picked this spot because it was shaded from the Summer sun and had some interesting views. This little house wasn't terribly interesting, but I liked the shadows along the road, so I decided to make that a bigger part of the composition. I knew I had to work quickly because of the shifting light, but since it was close to the middle of the day, it didn't really shift all that much. I guess one of the benefits for painting outside of the golden hour.
In the original version of this, I included the foreground because it had colorful flowers and coastal plants and grasses. In the knife version I did, that area just looked messy and didn't add much, I thought. So I did another cropped in a bit closer.
Donny Hahn is a California landscape painter I admire greatly, and I'm lucky enough to see him and his work at shows in Golden Gate Park. From a distance I saw his paintings and immediately recognized them as his, but as I got closer, something was different. They were abstracts! He said he returns to abstract expressionism from time to time, but rarely exhibits the work. They were just as colorful as his landscape work, and seemed to be reworkings from the very same palette.
This inspired me to try something similar and I decided to try and create an alternate take of a painting I did a few weeks back. By using the knife only, I pre-mixed some of the major color areas and quickly slathered it on the panel. Much thicker than I usually paint.
If less is more, I think I have a ways to go. This seems too busy and overworked, so I may try again.
The seasons here are still unfamiliar at times. It's all burnt out and dry this time of year. But come the spring everything will be wet and green. And then the wildflowers appear. The first to arrive are the mustard flowers which blanket most of wine country. It's one of my favorite times of the year and the hot dry season we're in now had me thinking about Spring.
I've taken a lot of time to ponder the good and bad points of the previous versions I've painted of this scene, and decided to emphasize the foggy San Francisco quality of light, and to keep it quite loose. When I got to the cars I was finding it hard to not put detail in, but for the rest of it I managed to keep it vague. I used only two brushes, both of them one inch wide.