The Dungeness Estate,by Christopher Simpson

The Dungeness Estate,by Christopher Simpson
The Dungeness Estate on Cumberland Island (as it once was.) Read more about this and other paintings by Chris at (Copyright-Chris Simpson Fine Art)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"You can always work on an oil painting,..."

Well it's a beautiful day out and here I am inside, but for a good reason. Today I want to share with you something my Grandmothers used to say about painting when I was growing up.
The famous line is, are you ready, o.k. here it is, "you can always work on an oil painting."
Of course the other side of the coin is for the artist to know when to stop. I can just imagine all you die hard artist, (and any who have tried) out there laughing because you know exactly what I mean.
Let's go back though to the first statement, you can always work on an oil painting. For me recently this became so true because the latest painting I posted on my blog was standing in my studio and I just could not stop looking at it and thinking, "what is wrong with this picture."
In looking carefully, I decided the background was just too confusing and the painting was loosing something. Instead of adding anything I took some of it out. The man standing next to the woman and the "Bogart like" reflection in the mirror. While this was a good idea perhaps for another painting or piece of art, I knew it just did'nt feel right, so, out it went.
I also felt there needed to be something else in it but not too much to distract us from the focal point, the figure of the woman.
In searching for some more of a soulful painting, and several modifications around it such as the dress and touches to her face here and there, the idea came to me like a light bulb being fliped on. 
Those who know the personal story of my "cross," I've worn for years may apprectiate this one.
I thought about how her lower hand did not have anything but her other had the stem of flowers. After considering this a while, her face seem to be in a state of deep thought so I realized she had no jewelry yet I did not want any around her head or just a ring on her finger so why not dangle a neclace with the cross?
As I painted this in there was no question, I had it.
She is complete.
So in search of a title I had two different ones, however nothing seamed right. When our friend came over who is a wonderful Christian writer/singer I had to ask her what she would name this one. She said what about, "Pondering her beliefs?"
My wife and I immediately agreed and so it was settled.
I felt I needed to maybe share this because there may be someone this may help somehow. I hope you enjoy and understand how this was such a good learning experience for me and the result is worthwhile to you as well.
I can still here my Grandmothers saying as I may have struggled with one of my early paintings, "you can always work on an oil painting." Wish they could see what I've been doing in recent years! Well that's all for now. I'll be adding more soon!!
To see what the painting looked like previously, please check out the previous blog by scrolling down from this one. Thanks!

To see the original oil painting, "Pondering Her Beliefs," or to make a purchase of a print of it, please contact the artist. (Info below photos.)
If the painting is in a gallery, show or otherwise he will gladly let you know how else to view it.

Here are some details of the painting.

Closer view of the Cross hanging from her hand. Completely enhancing the compostion.

Closeup of the Chair. Loose brushwork create more expression or feeling.

Note the texture in the hands and flowers.

Compostition and expression have become important elements in my artwork.