Painting pilings can be a fun challenge in simplifying a scene. For me the trick is figuring out what the biggest and most important passages are, and focusing on that. Rather than paint each piling as it’s own object, I start by looking for large passages of dark and light, and big pieces of color. As I refine the painting, I look for smaller pieces of information, but still don’t worry about particular pilings. As with most subjects, I just want to see the scene as pieces of paint and color instead of getting wrapped up in the small and unimportant edges. The scene above is from a day trip I took to Round Pond, Maine.
I also wanted to mention a podcast I have been enjoying lately, Modern Art Notes. The sound quality is a little inconsistent, but the content is often very good. Tyler Green is a good interviewer with deep knowledge of the art world, and often has established artists and curators on the show. I subscribe through itunes, but you can also check it out on his homepage.
While I am mentioning podcasts, I have to suggest my old standby favorites again. Slate Magazine’s daily podcasts are great and cover a lot. Also Start the Week from the BBC, and the Moth. I often listen to these while painting, and if you have the free time to give these a try I think it would be worth your while.