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.

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49 thoughts on “Through the Trees

  1. Anarette says:

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

  2. memadtwo says:

    How beautiful. Inspiring story as well. N.

  3. Pete Hillman says:

    Trully beautiful and full of magic, Melissa!

  4. That is very kind, Pete. Thank you

  5. Phil Ryan says:

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

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

  7. Jim Ruebush says:

    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. Eliza Waters says:

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

  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™‚

  11. Gunta says:

    It’s wonderful and such a great life lesson!

    • 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!

  12. Liz says:

    What a beautiful illustration of the wisdom of life! 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. shoreacres says:

    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.

  16. Robyn Haynes says:

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

  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!

  18. Mark Baldwin says:

    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

  19. Mark Baldwin says:

    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

    • 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. A beautiful painting and a beautiful message!

  23. eliza rudolf says:

    Well βœ’ pennedπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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

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