Quiet Stroll, oil pastel

“What’s the problem here, can I possibly save this one?  NO!”  Leaving my studio yesterday morning I called my husband and said “Well that’s it, I can’t save the painting.  It’s quite a mess, I’m throwing it out.”  Never a man to mix his words, he said, “okay.”  He knows not to challenge, because it’s rare I throw a painting out – I’m too stubborn to let one go.  So he waits, because he knows before too long I usually come back and declare, “Guess what?  I saved it!”

Such is the case with Quiet Stroll (14×11, oil pastel) – oh my, such troubles with the grasses from the foreground to the mid-ground.  Walking away, gave me the time I needed to come back and take a fresh look.  By looking with a new set of eyes, I began to see patterns – ah, there they were and then I set out to go at it again.  Scraping away paint, laying down layer-after-layer of oil pastel I gradually began to build grass colors and textures.  I finally started to see and feel the scene – so glad I took that breather!

Quiet Stroll

Quiet Stroll

One issue, my laptop saw better days (both the graphics card and battery died).  I’ve only just begun working on my new computer and there is a lot to learn with Windows 8.   The photo system I was using to retouch photographs before posting them changed.  Many folks out there think Microsoft did away with the photo editor with Windows 8, they are wrong.  It’s there, but buried deep within the photo gallery.  Long story short, this is the first image that I’ve worked to re-touch on the new system – it’s as close to the actual painting that I could get it.  Only one area, the sky, is showing the haze as though it’s clouds, not so in the painting.  I plan to go back, take another photo and play around again – if the results are better I’ll post it to under “landscape” tab above.

Inspiration from a reference image from photographer, John Robinson of pmp.

About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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28 Responses to Quiet Stroll, oil pastel

  1. Petronette says:

    My teacher say: Sometimes it is good to put you painting away. Start something else, and work later on, on the ‘old’ painting again.

    You did a great yob !
    Beautiful painting !

  2. Healthy A-Z says:

    A wonderful result! So glad you came back with your new perspective.

  3. You have truly put your heart and soul into this painting. It is shown through the movement of the fields, and the leading road to the horizon. Beautifully done with the reworking. You can always just paint over it with a new theme. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Emily, I’m too stubborn! I have this thing about figuring something out – hate leaving it undone. I have a painting half done 16×20 just sitting off to a corner, I’ve been stuck for close to a year on it – it will be revisited for sure, one of these days. Thank you for your gracious comments on this piece ~

  4. Love the softness here Mary. It’s amazing what a little time away does for a painting;)

  5. And look how beautiful it is! This is an essential lesson – always take one or two steps away and look again, read again, redo, rewrite and finally finish! I’m glad you did! if I only could teach my students this…I try and I try, but some things they must find out themselves too.

    Now this became a lot of words…what I meant to say is that I love tha Quiet Stroll.

    • Mary says:

      You so know how to make my morning! It reminds me of times when I painting rocks or grass and I look for patterns in the paint, they guide me and make for some interesting textures – when they don’t emerge I usually walk away and when I enter the studio, they’ll be revealed. I imagine it’s the same for writers. So happy that you enjoyed Quiet Stroll – thank you for your gracious and poignant comments.

  6. Doris says:

    good work I am glad you saved it, it is beautiful.

  7. it’s beautiful, Mary! 🙂 Glad you took that breather so we get to see it too!

  8. violetski says:

    Beautiful ! Love the sky and would like to have a walk there to see what is after that fences❤

    • Mary says:

      Well Violet – sounds like a plan! We can all go together, many are wondering the same thing. Thank you for your creative thoughts and wonderful comments!

  9. artscottnet says:

    There are few things I love more than to walk in the fog, or a hazy morning – the light is filtered, there is nothing too overwhelming, the animals behave differently, they’re quiet, peaceful, calming. I love the layers of fencing and the haze and the grasses. I can imagine walking this path, jumping over that distant fence and finding, I’d hope, a little more field to explore, then some clusters of trees to walk through with their comforting closeness. This is very beautiful, Mary. I for one am glad you took a break and came back to it.

    • Mary says:

      Scott you know how to write the most imaginary scenes in your comments, love them! Thank you for your words and thoughts. I too love those kinds of scenes, I’m drawn to them and you’re right – the animals must sense the peaceful atmosphere during morning. Appreciate your nod of encouragement. Thank you ~

  10. I think everyone needs to learn this lesson. TAKE A BREATHIER! It is the same way with my photography and blogging, sometimes I just have to step away to get new eyes. Great post.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Laurie – you are so right. When I can’t get my paints to reflect my vision – I know it’s best if I walk away, because it’s when I walk back into the room I see what I can’t before. So glad you enjoyed the post.

  11. I’m surely glad you decided to give it a second chance because it resulted to a beautiful painting! Great work, Mary!

  12. Francesca says:

    I think (1) that is a great painting and you did the right thing not throwing it out and (2) your husband is a wise man. 😉

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