'Water Lover' oil on canvas 24 x 30

Friday, May 23, 2008

Minus Tide - Thetis Island

I thought I would try a little experiment with this posting.
This is a piece I did several months ago and I was
never quite happy with it. Despite commonly held beliefs,
I went "back in" yesterday, and I am a little happier with
the new version. I'm interested to hear which one of the
two images you prefer (if either) and what else
you have to say about them.
Acrylic on canvas 18 x 24.
Your comments would be appreciated.
"You will have to experiment and try things out for yourself
and you will not be sure of what you are doing. That's
all right, you are feeling your way into the thing."
(Emily Carr)


jimmy Longacre said...

Okay, Jeffrey. I'm here with my coffee and a bit of time. I'm going to make the dangerous assumption that you actually would like honest comments on your work. (This is rare, as most post comments only say, "Love it!", "Really nice!", "Good one!", "Love the color!" blah, blah.) You know I admire your efforts, since I carry your link on my blogroll, so let me write like an artist/friend.

You don't say which was done first, so I'm assuming the one with the more yellow cast is the one you went back into. First reason, that's the only difference I notice, with the exception of brightening the light in the water.
The composition and treatment appear identical, with the possible exception of a generalization of the brushwork and slightly raising the value in the hills of the distant shore. If I had to choose which effect I prefer, I suppose it would be the first (if it actually is the first), because the color seems fresher. Laying an overall transparent color-glaze on a painting can supply a kind of "unity" due to the shared, overall tint (like looking through sunglasses), however, it can also give a tiresome sameness to the image. Just an opinion.

The next comment is more in line with a tendency I notice in your paintings. (Please, keep in mind how much honest in-put you actually receive through the blogging process, and that I am trying to speak as a friend.) I think your work would take an immediate jump in visual appeal if you were to make a clear decision about what is the focal area of your painting, and then giving your attention to the greatest display of detail and contrasts there, while being far more general in the other areas. To my eye (for what it's worth) your paintings often have an equal distribution of development in detail, contrast and emphasis. For instance, the rocky shore in this painting has an equal treatment of emphasis in every way from one side of the painting to the other. This equal development of detail and contrasts is sensed throughout.

You have a beautiful color sense, a good feel for shape arrangement, and a very nice approach to paint handling. I am only suggesting that you give some thought to the very intentional subordination of detail and contrasts throughout the composition, saving them for giving the viewer a clear focal area in the painting. Much like the function of the spotlight on a stage play. There is the star of the show, in the brightest color, greatest detail, and in high contrasts, all the rest is subordinate, generalized, stage setting and supporting cast. So, there it is.

If I didn't think you were a sincere and hardworking painter, I wouldn't be so candid with my opinion, Jeffrey. I hope you'll take what I've said in that light, and remember, it's worth every dime you paid for it.
Best wishes, my friend. Paint on!

Lori McNamara said...

I like them both, I am not sure which was done first either, I am guessing the one with the lighter background water is the second? I like that, it looks like the sun is hitting the water back there. The one thing that bothers me a little, the near shore line goes to the right lower corner.

So if you raised the water or lowered the rocks....

Everything else looks super, love the clouds and the rest of the composition.

I like your work a lot, makes me want to go up North for a vacation! Thanks for your comments on my blog!

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Thanks Jimmy for your very kind and thoughtful input here. Most of what you say I have heard before. My partner in life, love and painting, Linny often reminds me of the focal point thing. It is all so beautiful to me that I have trouble not putting it all in...

I will let you know by email which was painted first =;-))


Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Thanks Lori, your input is very much apprciated.


Ron Wilson Fine Art said...

The one with the 'green' sky works for me - it's more harmonious than the blue sky version and I have always liked the rocks which are common to both versions of course. I don't see a focus problem here - all the shapes are in the right place, each with the correct emphasis - it's fine.

We do need feedback but forget us all and paint with your own instincts...

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Thanks for your input Ron it is appreciated.


Holly said...


Your Minus Tide as my dear artist friend Lori McNamara said it is really nice....I would not change a thing. I have 7 painting from Lori, and she loves your paintings
SO DO I...You should see my new piece framed...Stunning. Thank you for doing such an outstanding job....I did not see a price on Minus Tide...is it sold?

Holly in Tennesse

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Thanks so much Holly. Just noticed your wonderful comment!