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Tag Archives: cottage

The above two paintings were a commision for my sister of a vacation home she and friends visit every fall.  She wanted something that showed the sign, “Hum”, as it was the name the original owner gave his home because he was a music teacher. We discussed the compositional difficulties due to the large foreground tree dividing the format in half and that it would, likely, become the center of interest of the painting. She thought that would be OK since it was the name of the home and the first thing they saw upon arriving every fall. These were the first two paintings I did from the reference photo. Indeed, the tree was so strong that it dominated the piece, even in the line drawing. I decided to go with it and made the trunk colorful and dropped salt in it for texture. I like the depth it created but there was no getting past the division of space unless I omitted the tree and I did not know how to make up the part of the house I could not see nor have reference for. I decided to do two more paintings using guidelines of composition.  One is found here and features the roadside entrance to the home. The other is here and features the lakeside entrance to the home. The entrance pictures are the ones my sister and friend chose. I enjoy studying composition and use it to design my paintings but this was an interesting project. My sister and I, both, like the other two, also. I think rules of composition are meant to be guidelines for artists to use to help us create paintings that are appealing to many. I can see that either of the above two paintings might appeal to an owner who really would want the sign, the tree and all he may remember about his homeplace. I, oftentimes, pause and look even longer at that “quirky” work of art on a gallery wall imagining about the special vision the artist may have had to do what he did. I do think it takes a knowledge of composition to even appreciate those “quirks”. 🙂

Carol King worked with a similar vertical tree trunk and handled it beautifully here.