View Full Version : Molly's Reach

07-06-2010, 06:23 PM

Title: Molly's Reach
Year Created:
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 18x36
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This was done for a locally themed show at my co-op gallery. I did rush the painting to get it finished in time for the jurying process and was not totally satisfied. I was going for a poster look - which is why I added the black outlines.

The painting was rejected based on composition, saying that it was too bottom-heavy & the jury didn't clue in to my poster attempt. They didn't offer suggestions for improvement however so I'm really hoping that you all can help me to bring this piece up to snuff. I'd be most grateful for some constructive criticism.

07-06-2010, 08:22 PM
Not sure I can offer much into what they seen. I very much like this piece.. brings me back to a vacation I took with the family when I was little.. We went to Gibson's and stayed in the cutest B&B and of course went to Mollys Reach, Then had to go and watch Beach combers so I could figure out what the fuss was about!

07-06-2010, 08:47 PM
well i think it's lively and colorful and there's no accounting for some juries tastes ... i also think it's a little tough to reach miss molly's reach in that it's blocked by a bike, then a fence, then a hedge and another fence, and umbrellas, wow, lol ... not saying you'd have to, but if, for example, there was a larger opening in the fence behind the bike ... and/or a break in the hedge so we could see a bit of the deck ... and/or maybe a break in the blue fence so we can see even more ... a few breaks like that to give us more of a glimmer of what's happening at molly's reach, openings for my eyes to wander in, might be good, more inviting. perhaps that's what the jury means?
on a way pickier note, you're bird is flying out rather than into the painting, for future comps (he's placed well just not faced well)


07-06-2010, 08:58 PM
Hi Chia! Nice to see your work again! Sometimes words dont quite carry the sense needed. 'Bottom Heavy' isn't that illuminating to me. To me it is more a matter of having divided the painting in two with the hedge and blue fence across the middle. I would have probably of approached the whole composition differently, but I think yours works. You get rid of the division by applying some artistic license and pulling those background elements down into the openings in the bridge. That for me would be the most sensible way to 'fix' it. Someone else is bound to have some good ideas. The poster effect may not have registered. It is usually a more pared down abstracted blocky effect? I like the image you have. I love boutiques like that.


07-07-2010, 01:54 AM
Deanna, thanks so much. Your comments have helped when I was feeling a little bummed.
La, I never even noticed that molly's was out of reach! If I employ Corby's suggestions, I can take it a little further by adding an opening & some tables... which means that I can include some of my favourite subject matter... condiments! ;) Thank you, I value your input.
And Corby, your visual helps sooo much! Thankyou!
I'm starting to feel enthused about this piece again. I will post an update when done.

07-07-2010, 09:00 AM
I like it as is. I like the crowded feel, just so much going on. Real nice.

I dont' get the jury's decision, it seems to fit the bill of what they were looking for, not sure what bothered them. Just a nice piece executed well.

The one minor thing that bothers me is the bike. I don't like the perspective of the front/back wheels. I feel there's too big a difference between the 2 for the length of the bike. Maybe I'm wrong, it may be ok.

Nice one.

07-10-2010, 11:59 PM
I've spent some more (much needed) time on this painting, taking into account the great suggestions I have received; worked on the perspective of the bike, lowered the patio fence & added an opening, furnished the patio, lightened the lower area, also painted out the seagull, added a basket to the bike and made the window more accurate. Whew!
So what do you think? I hope it's improved but I'm still very much open to further critique. If there's anything else that could benefit from a tweak, I'm still saving my palette!
Thanks so much to those of you who offered comments & critique - it helped a great deal!

07-11-2010, 01:00 AM
Hi Coralie. I really like this scene as it reminds me of similar scenes in Estes Park, Colorado. I think your changes are great improvements. It is a very busy painting and I would like to leave out the archway of shrubbery and the gate. Thanks for sharing.........Lenore

07-11-2010, 02:49 PM
nice saves!

i'd just chop off the fence post now and let the tall evergreen in the background be the vertical that keeps us in the painting ... agree with lenore about the hedge arch thing, odd angle and it could go away.
oh, i miss a bit the blue color for fence - more exciting than white and seemed to fit in the vibrancy of the east coasty scene better

nice touch with the basket of flowers on the bike = )


07-16-2010, 02:05 PM
Thanks for your advice Lenore. I'm going to eliminate the gate & vine on the left. It does seem a bit confusing.
Hi La, thanks! actually this is a west coast scene. I see you're an Albertan - remember the old CBC tv series "the Beachcombers"? Molly's Reach was the cornerstone for that show. It remains an iconic establishment and is now a thriving little restaurant. I forgot to add the sign pointing to the beach form the post on the right. Will try that before I decide to amputate!

07-16-2010, 02:37 PM
Beeeeeutiful job Chia! You've really brought this to life. I wouldn't add the sign, it doesn't really need the clutter and I would also think twice about eliminating the post. It stops our eye from being zipped right out of the picture by the bridge rail. The basket on the bike is a touch of genius for certain! Never let your reference tie you down, huh?!

07-16-2010, 07:59 PM
Thanks Corby! I had several references for this and strayed considerably from them. I do know what you mean though, and I usually try (once I've reached a certain point in a painting) to toss the ref & paint what I know rather than what I see.

07-17-2010, 07:19 AM
I was charming to start with, but I like the improvements too.
It's good that the juror gave you some feedback to let you know the thoughts behind the rejection. A big, fat "R" doesn't do much good.

07-17-2010, 09:32 AM
love the changes; it's perfect now!