It has been several months since my last painting. The holidays have come and gone, and we have entered a brand new year. Time to get busy again!

This new painting came into being as most of my work begins. Every time I try to plan a painting, I lay down the foundations and end up washing over it in frustration. Then when the paint dries, the underlying shapes form a completely unique image that sparks an idea that I can build on.

“Mysterious Island” started with the sky and sea, painted in an impressionistic style. The underlying shape of the island in the right foreground was already underneath, so I built upon it, creating a mountain in the background. I started the beach, then painted the trees and plants on the shore. By now the left side of the painting was looking a bit lonely, so another island in the distance seemed appropriate.

At this point, I became stuck. I needed input. After posting it on Facebook in a painting group and consulting family members for their opinions, I was ready to finish. I did some clean up work on a few areas. Then I had to make a decision. The lower right of the painting seemed empty with nothing but water to fill it. Someone online had suggested birds. I have never tried to add animals, or birds to my landscapes. But I need to start trying new things if I want to grow as an artist.

I started with some white flying birds in the distance. Then I took the plunge and started painting the white bird flying toward the island in the foreground. I had to correct myself a few times, but I think the end result is a fairly decent impression of a bird in flight. Adding the shadow of the bird on the water’s surface, I decided it was complete.

And that is the birth of “Mysterious Island”. It’s a colorful and peaceful landscape I hope all viewers will enjoy.

Acrylic on 16 x 20 inch stretched canvas.

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