The Shadow Knows

Here is another painting of another grain elevator. If you've seen one, you've seen them all. What's different about this one?

I like for each of my paintings to give at least a small indication that I am improving as a painter. Whether it's a better combination of colors, better use of brush strokes, or a more accurate telling of perspective, I just want each painting to show growth.

For this painting, which I have titled "Grain Elevator No. 10" (still need improvement in the naming department), I employed the use of shadows to help indicate depth and time of day. I go back and forth as to whether I should use shadows. And once I did on this one, I immediately regretted it. But I gave it a day, walked by it a few times. I looked at the painting from different angles. My feelings for the shadows changed and I embrace them now.

Doubt is a tremendous part of my art. Sure, there's joy, relaxation and satisfaction. But with every stroke of my paintbrush a fair amount of doubt is mixed in with the oils. Should I have used that color? Why did I use such a thin brush? Is it too late to start over? Should I just paint pictures of cats? Is it going to look like a five-year-old did this? 

Why do I keep doing this? I guess because I know when I get it right. The feeling of satisfaction is huge and weightless. That feeling is closely followed by the desire to start a new painting.


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