Everything can be improved
Everything we do in our lives is related back to completing a good painting. Oil painting is my hobby and the way that I approach a new painting is the same way I approach everything else in my life. You first identify the idea or the subject of the picture. Next you gather reference for all accurate details of the subject.
In reality this is the same thing as being on a committee or belonging to an organization and in general being part of a neighborhood. We all need to think of ways to improve our community or our neighborhood or for that matter the room in our house where we write this column. Many times through the years we have decided to rearrange the furniture and at the time we stand back to see how it looks. Sometimes everything goes back to where it was, but it is good to try to do something different once in a while. A lot of this takes time and energy that sort of runs out when you start aging. Some people are only willing to give an X amount of time to do a certain job.
After my painting is so far along, I give it an objective look on how everything relates to everything else. This includes composition, color, shape, harmony and balance. Many times I go so far then get away from it for several days. Then when I go back for another look, I always see something that can be improved. It's partly because the next day or so I am not the same person I was when I painted it in two days ago.
The tools we have to work with makes a lot of difference. We are constantly trying to find better ways or easier ways to do a certain task. When I was in the seventh grade I was always making maps of Lansing. It bothered me because most of the streets back then west of Main Street had dead ends. West Kay Street stopped at Miss Gauger’s mail box east of our new elementary school, and there was no J Street. West Lois Street stopped at Graham Hill, and there was no West Mary Street at that time. All this has changed, and I was happy to be a part of some of these changes.
Getting back to my pictures, you have no idea how much fun I have trying to pick the right frame for a certain picture. I know most of you have been part of making things better. Everything can be improved.