Novelists often discard the original first three chapters of a book, despite the beautifully written passages.

Four phases of a sketchbook painting

Throughout the day as I made a few changes here and there I kept asking myself “What was my intent?”  Sometimes I allow a painting to take its own direction.  Sometimes I need to remember what had inspired me in the first place and attempt to capture a bit of that initial impulse.  It is so easy for me to abandon that initial impulse and go with the inspiration and creativity of the current moment.

One of the many reasons I am addicted to my sketchbooks is that I have the freedom to solve problems without the worry of ruining a drawing.  It doesn’t matter at all.  I feel it is a waste of the time I have invested in the page if I don’t make every attempt to resolve the problems that arise.  It’s great to learn what doesn’t work but at some point I have to find the solution to make it work.  Otherwise, I will repeat the problem in a future drawing.

Along the path, during the several stages of searching for solutions, I discover patterns, shapes and colors that intrigue me and I will save them in my memory to investigate in a future drawing.

Stage one:  Too many trees trunks.

Stage two: Painting separated too much into top and bottom, nothing grounding the row of trees to the bottom of the painting.

Stage Three: Too light a value on the right side of the telephone pole.

Stage Four:  A bit dreary.  Much closer to the initial vision of the scene.

Sketchbook Study:  Drawn first with fountain pen filled with mix of red and black Noodler’s ink, followed by watercolor, followed by more watercolor and gouache, followed by another glaze of watercolor.