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.