It is interesting, I am working hard right now to get my paintings done for the  national Nature and Wildlife show as I have said before.  Since they are charging the same entry fee for one or three paintings,  I feel that three is definitely the way to go.  BUT they must be very good or they will not be accepted.  So one's efforts must be toward QUALITY not quantity per se.  As I said before, I consider my horse painting done, yet I continue to tweak it here and there.  I will wait to varnish it until right before I submit the photos to the show.  That way, should I decide to tweak it some more it is easy to do so.

     In my latest tweak, I was doing more highlighting of the largest horse to make it stand out from the others.  I began thinking about the "disappearing lines" that are so important in fine art.  That is one thing I don't always remember to do, unfortunately.  And this is one of those times.  I want the largest horse, the stallion to look very real and stand out nicely as the focal point of the painting.  I decided to make the back legs "disappear" somewhat into the grass as they would in deep shadow.  I toned them down using the grass color and "lo and behold" the horse jumped off the canvas at that point! It is amazing how it works, simple but SO effective!  I also did a blue wash over the two smallest horses to make them look even further away as well.  The two middle horses stayed pretty much the same with the exception of the first mare.  I made her stomach larger and added a little light on it to emphasize her being with foal.  Now the viewer can decide for themselves if she is looking back at the stallion or at her "baby".   A nice touch I think.  I am so glad I have the time to study it and make these last minute changes.  They will make a big difference in the long run, I feel.  I once again have a picture below.  I had forgotten to post a picture of it in the frame, so this one is framed.

     I am now working daily on my second painting.  It is another marsh scene, but I am adding a LOT
of detail to this painting.  The setting is late afternoon when the sun is low and giving the scene that golden glow we sometimes see in nature.  I love that time of day and hope to capture it here. The last photo I posted was just a "rough in" or in preliminary stages.  But you can tell that the focal point will be the lower right side.  I have added in Sabal palms, the state tree of Florida.  I am working on the foliage of the trees now.  Of course when painting, we don't work on one spot till finished and move to the next etc.  We work all around the painting and catch things we missed before in one spot, refine another spot, add something elsewhere...always moving. That way we get a feel for the entire scene and how everything relates to the other.  It makes the painting more coherent and makes sure the colors harmonize together.  Below the palm trees I have a great White Egret resting on a dead log and holding out its wings to cool its body.  Every now and then we will see this in nature.  It is an interesting sight.  Also, being a swamp marsh, I have water holes all around.  I like how they give the painting depth.  You will also notice how much brighter the focal area is than the rest of the painting.  This is because of the sun shining on the trees etc, but of course, it's where you want the eye to focus!  All details are sharper here and there is more light here: the eye roams around and then rests here to explore all the little details in the painting!

     As for the third painting, I was going to use a painting I finished a while back.  But I looked at the Art Association schedule and realized that the Spring Members Show is June 2 - July 2, 2017. It features paintings previously done.  So I will enter this painting into that show instead.  So I must now decide what I will do for the third painting.  I have time to paint another, but I have also been commissioned to do a painting that must be finished by July 1st.  I will have to see if I can get everything done in that time frame.  We shall see.  One good thing.  I decided to stick with the September "Featured Artist" show at the beaches instead of the July date.  I just have too much to do to give July due justice with my new teaching job at Community Education starting in June as well as several paintings that must be finished.  Get too many irons in the fire and your work will suffer!

     Ok.  Here is the photo of my horses in the frame and a couple photos of my latest project still unnamed.  I also have a photo of the painting I will enter into the  Spring Member's Show.  As always,  enjoy and Thank you SO Much for looking!!!

(with precious large)
24 x 36

This is the photo I showed you of the preliminary painting.  It has few details.  I have simply placed the major pieces into the puzzle as it were.

Here, you can see I have worked all around the painting.  I refined the clouds, worked on the large group of grasses and the swamp in the foreground.  I have also added and begun highlighting the three main palm trees.  If you look closely, you can see the bird roughed in on the log.  Notice the water puddles?

Here, you can see the grass is much more refined. Individual grasses are seen and the log is gaining more detail as is the bird.  The dead fronds of the trees are getting details and I especially like the light on the bushes behind the trees.  It still has a long way to go, but it is definitely taking shape!

16 X 20
       This is my entry into the Spring Members Show for June at the St. Augustine Art Association

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