Simon Bland

A Blog About Oil Painting

Winter Ferry Crossing - Light on the Water

by Simon Bland / Jul 20, 2017 / Landscape Seascape Sky

Abstract impressionistic landscape with pine trees, water, yellow sky and fog effects.

The Winter Crossing. 9x12, oil on linen panel. 2017

Like many of my recent landscapes, this started out as something different. I took a nice photo during a ferry ride to Bremerton in January. It had a soft, warm afternoon light, so that you might easily have thought it was taken on a summer evening.

But the photo turned out to be a trap, one of those too-nice picture postcard images that you get suckered into using: something you do because the subject is pretty, not because the artistic content is meaningful. I couldn't get it to sing and so I put aside for a few months before finally admitting defeat.

The second go around, I focused more on the light and big shapes, and I stopped worrying about everything else. Most of this remainder I allowed to fall into place. That meant no careful rendering of the trees, the water or any details - just splodge on some paint and hope for the best. I took more of a chance with the outcome, but the result feels more interesting than a copy of a photograph.