I started this painting a long time ago. I had taken a class from an artist who painted exclusively with a pallet knife and was trying that method out. I started this painting and really couldn't make it work. Truth is, I didn't have the skill I needed yet, and the pallet knife method wasn't working for me. So I set it aside. I took up my brush again and did many paintings between then and now.
Last week I decided to take the old unfinished painting to open studio and see what I could do with it. I regret I didn't take a picture of it first so you could see what I started with. It looked somewhat like this photo which was the reference I used when I painted it. I took the photo of a Canada goose preening at Sunset Pond in 2004. When I looked at the photos last week, I realized that I preferred a different photo because it lent itself to the idea of passages of dark and light. So I modified the painting to be more like the second photo.
This week I continued to paint and to pull the painting together. Now it feels all of a piece. I still have a great deal to do on it, particularly on that beautiful wing in the foreground. I notice in the photo I took today that there are some areas where the paint is cracked and there is a great deal of texture from the pallet knife painting. It is going to be interesting incorporating these elements into the painting so that they enhance it and don't detract from it. I am enjoying working on this project.