This week’s corvid-in-snow painting: a raven on Mt Seymour. I painted this 24″ x 30″ oil painting on cradled panel, but this time I used gesso to prime rather than Gamblin oil painting ground. I learned that the oil ground is worth the cost, time and effort as it’s a much more ‘welcoming’ surface when applied to wood panel. Another thing I’ve learned while painting crows and ravens is that I use far less black paint than I expected to. I don’t adhere to the rigid idea that a painter never uses black paint, but to get the depth I needed, I used more Prussian blue and violet grey (and a little raw umber) than the neutrals.

This week I’ve been worrying, as I have (on and off) for years, about my inability to focus on one genre, one style, one philosophy or direction. My taste in art is also extremely eclectic. I know painters whose mantra is technical proficiency and formal excellence. I also know painters who are completely focused on spreading The Word about process, expression and spontanaeity. And there are countless other philosophies. It’s all good to me, hence my confusion.

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