On a recent trip to western mountains, it once again is obvious how important these trips are, it refreshes you, teaches you and most importantly INSPIRES
AND MOTIVATES. In my workshops the number one statement from participants is "I have not been painting enough." The greatest motivator is to set yourself up for motivation. Think about what really inspires you, get out there, get in a workshop and/or be around others, we help each other.
In my last post it was mentioned that I use these studies for values and colors (the camera is picking up much less than you may realize. You can capture beautiful subtleties in the lighting conditions when painting on location), and really work on simplifying. Allen Rodgers comment pointed out on how important it is to exclude material. He is so right; the simplification process requires you only put in what is essential to convey the sense of place in a landscape, which makes a better painting. Compose your painting of several large shapes, of interesting variety.
You must think in the beginning, but if you over think you may kill your inspiration, get what inspires you and quit. Paint for yourself. Here are three paintings from this trip; I can already see where a little more simplification may help. Always ask yourself if you can eliminate something first, not add, too much jewelry overstates the beautiful essence and spirit of a place. I would love for you to interact by looking at these paintings for places that could use more simplification and then your own paintings. You can use detail if you like but hold you large value shapes, that is what holds the painting together. It is all about balance but most of us err on the side of too much, I do it all the time.