The top painting began as the painting below. I thought I had resolved the painting, cleaned my palette and brushes, shut off the lights and returned home. Next morning when I arrived back at the studio I noticed that the dark spaces between the branches of one of the larger trees on the right was too dark in value and came forward rather than recede. I thought it would be simple enough to make the adjustment. One small adjustment led to another. I added a bit more definition to the small, isolated tree in the mid-ground area on the far right. I lost the subtlety I had liked in the grassy area. The painting lost its spark for me.

I’m not sure what happened next. Perhaps I began making a few more adjustments. At some point, the painting began to take on a new life, a far more vibrant life than the original version. The image began to have a heartbeat and I responded by giving it air to breath and space through which to move. I have had this experience many times while painting with watercolor, but only recently have I experienced it while oil painting.

Transformation is thrilling. Allowing the painting to go in a totally new direction resulted in a far stronger painting.