The Geographic :: Week 14

Riding the wave of change from last week, I continued to quickly move out of the grey area with my large format paintings and found comfort in using oils again. I approached the works in progress with a new vigor and excitement. I felt like I knew what to do next and set about working with intention during my class studio time.

View of my neighbors fields from my home studio

View of my neighbors fields from my home studio

Adding in black oil pastel marks to delineate the color blocks felt like a natural next move. I use black lines quite a bit in my sketchbook drawings and I'm trying to incorporate some of those marks into the work. The circles I once loved about the piece have started to take on a too perfect quality and I think they might need to be painted over. I'm pausing, but will have to make a decision next week about them.


Working with purple has been a game-changer for me. The ability to mix different color values and incorporate them into the paintings has given them a different feeling.


Adding oil paints over the acrylics and blending of few of those initial black lines helped the painting take shape. Next week, I'll continue adding oils and blending and hopefully liven up the painting. I think the circles either have to go or get drawn over with an oil pastel pen to create a less perfect look.

No. 14 :: Cutoff before the flip

No. 14 :: Cutoff before the flip

The above painting was at the end of the day on Monday. I added in a few purple color blocks and then needed to wait a few days for them to dry. Oils do take a while to properly dry before you can paint on top of them. The sky felt good to me and the painting was starting to come together and not feel like two separate paintings. I had felt like the sky and the fields were not communicating with each other, but now I feel like they are at least talking.

No. 14 :: Cutoff

No. 14 :: Cutoff

By the end of my studio time on Wednesday, a lot more blending and color was added to the fields . I flipped the painting while working on it and had an epiphany - the sky should be the blur of the roadside as seen from the driver's seat on my seven mile drive home from the wine bar. I had been trying to create a blurred effect and thought it had to be in the sky, but that doesn't really make sense. The blur you see while driving is usually lower to the ground. I love the flip and the fields. I'm not loving one of the purple blocks of color on the left, but will fix that when I get back into the studio next week. For now, the new perspective has me delighted!


Adopting a new way of thinking about my work and choosing the opposite of my gut reaction has really served me this week. I'm still listening to my gut on whether or not it feels good or right, but making room for a new way to approach the canvases has changed my mood and confidence around the work. I feel like I've tapped into something these last few weeks and I'm totally digging the results..

I have less than four weeks to finish 11 paintings for this Valley Ford series. I'm not freaking out.

I'm currently in Bodega Bay for a girls' weekend and plan on creating a batch of watercolor studies that will serve as the Bodega Bay portion of this body of work. I'm not sure how they will turn out or how many I'm gong to make. I'm just going to let it flow.


I'll let intuition be my guide.

I've added a tab on my website where all of The Geographic weekly blog posts are listed. You can click here to access same.