Back in April I I started this industrial landscape. I love the hulking steel monuments of Johnstown, how they loom over the river landscape, shadows of their former fiery presence.

This is 20″ x 16″ acrylic on canvas.

First draft: in some ways I still love this the way it is. But I have such a history of falling in love with the potential of an early painting, through the rosy glasses of what it could be, then getting stuck because “I might ruin it.” These days I’m all about ‘pushing past that place, and actually developing that potential.
Draft 2: Here I really like the ‘DeChirico’ quality of the stark shadows, and the blue/rust palette. There are problems with the background.
Draft 3. I exaggerated the color and contrast of the mill buildings, and their shadows. I brought more energy to the river, hoping to make feel it more toxic. I enlarged the train and rendered that hillside in more detail.
Draft 4: I had to fix the perspective on the mill buildings. I added some wildness in the sky. But I like it less now. Somehow there is too much color… especially in the sky. I’m not sure when or if I will pull this out and rework it. But I’ve learned a lot from it.

Looking back, I can see myself wandering around trying things then changing them – taking bold action then regretting it! I learned alot, and may return to this theme. I am particularly fascinated by rail cars and their incredible surfaces.

It helps to look back. I can see my awkward hesitation and un-confidence. And my desire to please my teacher! Since the Breadcrumbs class I see how I’ve painted to please other people much more than I believed. This has interfered in my discovering what feels interesting to my own eye. I’m intent on exploring my deeper artistic curiosity. More on this to come!

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