View Full Version : The Short Way

04-16-2002, 11:36 AM

Title: The Short Way
Year Created: 2002
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 24
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This scene is a composite of several places from the prairies of South Dakota. I've read it is not a good idea to divide a painting in half like the road does here, but it never seemed to want to go anywhere else, and does seem to me to add to the essence of the scene. Comments on this?

Does this peice appear to be "finished". If not,what one or two changes would improve it?
What emotions does this piece bring forth?

04-16-2002, 12:52 PM
I like the road the way it is, I think it works for you. I've also heard that painting a road this way is a bad idea, but sometimes breaking the rules is good. :) And I like the grass (or is it grain?) along the sides of the road. The texture is nice, it makes me want to reach out and touch them.

As for appearing finished, well, yes and no. It doesn't look UNfinished, but it does look a little unbalanced. You've got the tree and the hills on the left and nothing really on the right. This is emphasized by the way the painting is split in half by the road. I'm not sure what else you could put over on the right, but having something there to balace out the left half of the painting might help.

Emotions ... it actually calls up childhood memories for me, since I grew up in the midwest and this kind of landscape is familiar to me. So it makes me wistful.

04-16-2002, 04:24 PM
Thanks. I will think seriously about the balance. I'm really happy that it felt familiar to you- gives me confidence that this type landscape means something to someone else. Wistful is good.

04-17-2002, 10:52 AM
I agree that there is definately more weight on the one side of the painting. Maybe put the tree on the otherside or add a grain elevator or farmhouse.

Personally having driven through the prairies early in the morning, I have pondered painting a similar picture.

I think the road running down the center helps add a feeling of flat to the terrain and it is what you see and feel when you drive.

It may be that my own experience is what I find missing in your painting however. I find myself wanting to see the road and scenery from the viewpoint about 10 feet down from where your viewpoint appears, if that makes sense.

You may also consider making some loose cloud formations closer to the foreground to help give a feeling of distance.

You did a fine job in detailing the grass/grain. On a personal note, it helped bring back memories of some great very long distant car rides and scenery.

04-18-2002, 10:08 AM
Good ideas. Ihave have added a small tree, some low distant buttes and some high cirrus clouds to the right side. I don't understand the "10 feet down" down idea. I am thankfull that it brings up genuine feelings from your past. I fear someday our economic way of life will take these places away from us to feel that way.

04-18-2002, 11:56 AM
To explain the 10' down idea a little better, looking at the painting I get the impression that I am somehow looking at the horizon 15' in the air.

I think the way to change this would be to widen the road at the front (bottom) of the painting and make the grass/wheat taller in front.

Please don't make changes to this one on my say so though. You've got a nice painting as it stands, expecially now that you've ballanced it.

As for the other statement:

I am not an expert on farm industrialization either but I don't think that prairie farming will disappear in our lifetime. All people need grain. It's grown over vast amounts of land and at present (in some ways unfortunately for farmers), it isn't as profitable as other resources such as timber, minerals and produced goods.

Corporations typically go after the most profitable ventures so I think, for the time-being, our children will be able to acquire memories not unlike our own.


04-18-2002, 05:03 PM
I see what you mean. I think I subconciously I take a bird's vantage point in many of my paintings, and so your comment makes sense.
Don't forget uncontrolled and poorly thought out housing expansion as a culprit in the loss of natural habitat. I hope that some improved awareness of the importance of open and wild spaces is passed on to the furture inhabitants of our countries' citizens. Tim