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an image of a paintbrush on my canvas by artist theresa eisenbarth

Art Friends,
November 1 , 2021

Recently I have been stuck on this painting. Some things have eluded me in the past few weeks (lets face it months). I had never had  a “blank” before on what to do with my art. These large scale artworks for the Esplanade Exhibit in January 2022 were intimidating me. I just wasn’t sure how to move past certain problems in the painting to be able to have them ready for Nov 15th.

I spoke to a couple of my mentors…one of them being Doug Swinton and he gave me some good advice.

Sometimes you need to run your painting through an application called NOTAN.

What does this mean? You take a photo of your painting in black and white and upload it to this application on your phone. You can then adjust the levels of value. It helps you to see if you’ve lost all your dark value and where your can make improvements in both your dark areas and light areas of the artwork.
When I followed through with these instructions, I realized I had lost my center of interest.  This helped me to be able to see that I needed to bring this focal area back by adding some texture on the bottom half of the artwork and to brighten the area I wanted people to look. I have a very busy sky in this artwork, but I wanted people to look in the distance to the edge of the farmhouse, not only at the sky.

Painting is a series of ideas and contain levels of structure and hierarchy. If one level is out of place, it can throw the whole structure of the painting off. Go back, figure out which level you are at and make your final adjustments to fix the problem.

A Typical Prairie Painting”
48×60 inches
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Birch