Sunday, January 20, 2013

"Smithsonian Castle" (oil on linen; 8" x 10")

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I have painted the Smithsonian Castle before, as you can see below.  The old painting from the last fall was also titled unimaginatively "Smithsonian Castle," I apologize. From the moment I finished it, I didn't like it, but didn't know what to do.  So I did another painting based on a different photo taken on the same beautiful autumn day. Of course, you cannot tell from the paintings whether it is spring, summer, or fall.  Hey, I was going for a timeless beauty!

Please tell me which painting is better.  I am voting for the new one.  I have a tendency of preferring new paintings to old ones, perhaps based on the delusion that I am improving by the day.  But this time I am hoping that everybody will agree with me.

The new painting is more painterly, reads better, and compositionally superior. The mock Gothic castle is in shadow, so it is dark.  Don't the sun-struck slivers in the clock tower sing?  I didn't really need all the foreground either.  Even without it, the castle in the new painting sits back, doesn't it?  I guess the morale of the story is: if a painting of your favorite subject doesn't turn out well the first time, do another and another until you nail it!

The old "Smithsonian Castle" (oil, 14" x 11")