Done – and I Do Not Like It

I have been too many years away from oils. I think I should enroll in a painting class when I retire (I have neither the time nor energy to enroll in a painting class right now. Especially the energy part). I could do with a whole new approach to oil painting, and I’m not too proud to say that.

I started this painting last year. I guess it isn’t too bad that it took me a year to reach a point where I threw up my hands and said, “I am DONE!” I also know that with oils, being “done” is rather relative. As long as it isn’t varnished, you can still come back and tweak it. But I am done looking at it.



I took two photos – the top one is with the flash and if you click on the thumbnail to view it, it looks as if I never covered the canvas board. Little pricks of reflection show the underlying texture of the canvas board. The second photo is sans flash, but the color isn’t true: the camera picked up on the yellows and washed out the blues and reds. But it better shows the layers of paint and that’s my main focus.

I used a palette knife for most of this painting. I’ve never done that before: painted with the palette knife. I used a brush for some aspects, but I wanted to understand the palette knife and I wanted to get away from my previous style of painting.


That is the photograph I was working from. A perfect clear summer day in the high desert, camped at the base of the big pink rock at Pike Creek, just outside of the Steens Mountain Wilderness area.


That is the Steens rising up in the background, some 4200 feet above the Alvord Desert floor (actual elevation: 9,734′).

I removed our rig, the camping paraphernalia and Harvey barking in the foreground. I left Don & Murphy, but they became explorers, not photographers.


I left Don’s moustache off. In fact, I just left his facial features off. Man & his dog.

It’s an O.K. painting, but… that’s all it is. <yawn>

I may come back to it some other day in the future. For now… I’m done. Although I do suppose I should sign it, even if I don’t like it.


2 thoughts on “Done – and I Do Not Like It

  1. I float in and out of sewing. I often feel I should take some classes and sometimes do at the Sewing Expo. But actually I have come to enjoy the exploration of finding new techniques on my own. It gives me a few moments of feeling like I have conquered something. Yes if I had taken a class I could have got to the finish line faster, but this way I know my brain is still working on solutions and has not stagnated by following a set pattern.

    Don’t beat yourself up, you paint well. You, like me and sewing, just need to do it more often so your eyes become comfortable with the results of your hands.

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