View Full Version : Rushing Water

06-22-2006, 10:02 AM
I'm trying to paint some for my gallery -- and sometimes this requires a hurried up framing. But . . . I thought I would ask all of you good eyes if you see something I need to correct before framing this.

It is on Wallis and is 20" x 24". I did an underpainting with watercolor and I am also trying not to paint as dark as I usually do. So . . . have at it -- tell me anything you see that does not look quite right.


And . . . thanks!

06-22-2006, 10:24 AM
Words escape me - this is stunningly beautiful and I wish I could paint like this!

06-22-2006, 10:58 AM
This is just stunning.I also wish I could paint like this.

06-22-2006, 11:00 AM
Marsha: I'm sure that absolutely beautiful painting will have been 'sold' before you read this! Did you do it with your new set of 'Terry Ludwig - Marsha Savage Southeastern pastels'? I was very impressed with your color selection for the set - saw them advertised in 'The Pastel Journal' - I understand they are on sale until June 30 - is that correct? Best reguards -


06-22-2006, 11:05 AM
This is primo! One thing I see is the black shadows on the rocks on the right side down front. I believe there would be some deep rich colors in the shadows there, not just black which seems too stark to me. Color bounces around in nature, or so the French impressionists believed. (grin) I'm with them. Hope this helps.


PS: Please visit my art blog if you have time? Thanks.

06-22-2006, 11:27 AM
You should have seen me trying to fix the photo in Photoshop so that everyone could see the colors in those dark areas. I do not use black. And, I could not fix that dark area without hurting other areas. Thanks for the thought though.

06-22-2006, 11:42 AM
Marsha, that is an absolutely lovely piece, great values and lovely color. Could you explain to me how you prefer framing your pastels?

Rose Baggs
06-22-2006, 11:49 AM

06-22-2006, 11:52 AM
Marsha, the only thing I see wrong with this painting is that it is not hanging on my wall. :lol: What a stunning painting! I like the higher key and the overall softness of the background.


06-22-2006, 01:18 PM

Wonderful interpretation, looks natural, I like the rendering of the water in particular

Liz Teed

Tom Christopher
06-22-2006, 01:42 PM
Hi Marsha--the water in this painting is first rate --the white water is very convincing.. I'm wondering if darkening the opposite shore trees just a bit would create even more dramatic lighting for the sunlit foreground.. Just a thought-- still beautiful work as is.. Tom

06-22-2006, 02:01 PM
Marsha, it is a beautiful piece. The water & rocks are brillant!

I saw some of your work at the Blue Ridge gallery a couple of weeks ago...the pics on WC don't do them justice!

06-22-2006, 02:12 PM
Marsha this is lovely. Should be a "sure sell", but who knows what the public will ever think or do! lol

Interestingly enough, my adult son was looking over my shoulder at it, and I told him you were wanting a critique. His comment was very similar to that made by Tom - darken the opposite shore trees just a little bit. His reasoning wasn't the same - had something to do with the direction of light - but it might add more drama as Tom suggested. Then again I so understand the "camera thing"! You may already have this darker and the fiddling in Photoshop washed it out as well as lost the colors in the rocks. So leave it alone and get that frame ready.


06-22-2006, 02:23 PM
Don't change a thing, Marsha. It's beautiful!

06-22-2006, 02:57 PM
Okay, now I'll tell you what bothered me. It is the trees on the other side. I purposely had them a little lighter. Again, I am trying to paint more like my plein air paintings with less darks. Painting from a photograph usually has the darks somewhat darker than in real life. So . . . my thoughts go with trying to put the other bank a little lighter.

The pine trees that are sticking up into the sky bother me. I am almost at a point to brush them out and try to make them a little less formulaic. I am afraid I put in somewhat a caricature image of pines. The photo did not show the shapes of the limbs and foliage quite good enough for me. These are really a type of scrub pine instead of the white pine that I have them looking more like. Does it bother any of you?

Also, thank all you guys for your kind words. As you know, you can walk out of the room, come back, and think -- dang this turned out quite good! Then come back a few minutes later and think, those trees bother me, or that bank is not dark enough! So . . . when do you quit? As Albert Handell said in a workshop I took just a few weeks ago -- when you have "resolved" any issues, then it is time to quit!

David Patterson
06-22-2006, 03:13 PM
It looks beautiful to me Marsha - love the overall soft look!


06-22-2006, 03:13 PM
wow! stunning!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

06-22-2006, 03:18 PM

06-22-2006, 03:32 PM

Here is a shot of the rocks -- so that you can see more of the color that is there in the darks.

After I walked back into the studio to look again at that far bank of trees -- I'm not sure which one you guys are talking about. Are you talking about the misty looking part behind the yellow leaning tree and upright tree on the right? Or, are you talking about the green bank of trees?

Also, I did put a little more color -- some peachy color in that one rock that the sun is hitting right at the water. I thought it looked a little washed out.

06-22-2006, 03:35 PM
Everything looks "resolved" to me, Marsha. Those pines don't bother me. If they bother you, smoosh them a bit with a clean fingertip.

Frame it!

Merethe T
06-22-2006, 03:37 PM
Oh my....beautiful work Marsha, it's a stunning piece...I really like the higher key also! The pines doesn't bother me at all, the "stars" in this piece is the water and the tree/rocks on the right (our right)! My eyes moves between the tree on the right, the water and the lighter tree on the other side, and in my opinion the trees on the far side work very well as they are. I think that if they where more defined they'd just compete for the attention of the viewer - but now they act perfectly as a bg for the stars. Don't look like a caricature at all to me....Well, that's my two cents, and IMO - absolutely stunning work!

Adriana Meiss
06-22-2006, 04:06 PM
Hi Marsha,
Everytime I look at one of your paintings I start salivating like a dog!
The whole scene is beautifully rendered, but the water and the rocks are the best!

When I look at the painting, my eyes go first to the rocks on the right, then to the top of the leaning tree and from there to the rock in the middle of the stream. Based on that, I would say it does not matter much what the other trees look like, but I have to agree with Tom and Peggy (or her son), about darkening just a bit the trees on the left shore. If you do not want to darken that area, perhaps defining it would do, and this is because of the following:
The pine tree on the left (the one that reaches the top and is at the edge) does not have as much definition as the ones in the middle, so I'm assuming it's far behind. However, because of its size, it commands attention. I do not think that giving it more definition would hurt the painting.
The other tree that called my attention was the one right below the one I just mentioned, and behind the small tree on the left. If it is closer to the viewer than the tall pines in the middle, then, IMO, it should also have more definition.

I hope this helps.

06-22-2006, 04:37 PM
Funny that you should say just what you did about the pines -- that is exactly what I did -- I did a "pouncing" effect to soften all the edges with a clean finger each time.

Adriana - I think those trees don't bother me so much that I really want to "noodle" with them. The tree below the pine on the left and the little dogwood in front is just a deciduous tree - most likely a water oak or something with not much definition. So . . . I think I'll just leave it hinted at. I don't want any detail in that area -- even the little dogwood is just light and not much detail. I just wanted a place for the eye to travel back down to the water.

So . . . thanks you guys -- I think I'll call it done and frame it. That way I can take it with me tomorrow to the gallery in Blue Ridge, GA. I will be painting all day -- demonstrating -- in the gallery on Saturday. And they would like to have some new paintings. I have 4 to frame for them tonight. So, better get to work.

I really appreciate all the kind comments and the ideas of any small thing that might add finish to this painting. Thanks.

Karen Margulis
06-22-2006, 04:38 PM
Hi Marsha,
Here's my two cents....STOP! lol I love it just the way it is. I think you have the trees just right. Beautiful as always!

Karen (another groupie)

06-22-2006, 05:11 PM
Love it! I just bought the Ludwig set with your name, among others...and have been having a ball with them. But...for some reason my paintings don't look like this when I use your pastels....I wonder what I am doing wrong?!?!?!


Charles Perera
06-22-2006, 05:34 PM

How can any one critcise this. It is sublime, wonderful, absolutely breathtaking.


06-22-2006, 06:16 PM
It's BEAUTIFUL! Don't change a thing!

06-22-2006, 07:48 PM
Hi Marsha,

I also noticed the bright trees on the other shore.
But they are less defined and that works well.
The more defined tree at left lends depth to the painting.
I think that you have a good work here in terms of perspective in many ways.
You might tone down that tree on the left, but then the tree on the right would get too much of a focal point, in my opinion.
I like the way like the pine trees go up to the sky. Makes them imponent and makes the viewer wonder how they will end.
Afterall you want the viewer to imagine a bit, right ?
This is in my opinion a great work.
Of course that more experienced artists will have something to say.

Best regards,


Paula Ford
06-22-2006, 07:53 PM
It's BEAUTIFUL! Don't change a thing!

I TOTALLY agree ! ! ! :D



06-23-2006, 12:25 AM
This is an amazing piece Marsha! I love the way the light floods through the trees and glistens on the white water. Stunning!