What Can I Let Go Of?
Painting a complex subject like the downtown skyline is quite instructive. I learned a lot looking over everyone’s shoulders today. For most of us, the process involved a change in what we were paying attention to.
Even though I started out saying that I wanted to represent the buildings as one big shape, in my first attempts I painted them one at a time. After a couple of tries, I realized that the feeling of being near that mass of concrete and glass was not about individual structures. I began to see the overall shape as the primary reality. Shape first, then texture.
Who can say why we insist on giving the secondary information (texture, detail) a starring role? I do know that for me it is a great relief to let go of the compulsion to spotlight all the players. I felt lighthearted by the time we left.
Try using the paintings and studies you made this afternoon as source material for a couple more versions. Without the actual buildings crying out for attention, you may be able to let go of even more.