Since my last posting, I have been putting in long hours at the easel. Here is my next finished shell painting. Ann Morrow Lindbergh’s words from Gift from the Sea keep me focusing on the one beautiful specimen and looking at all the nuances of color and form. In her words not mine, “One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can only collect a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few. Since the format and design is quite a bit different than my traditional still life paintings, I have had to refocus on creating a strong pattern, eye path, focal point, and above all strong compositional elements that require careful pre-planning. What has helped me more than anything else is creating a Notan in three different values-white, gray, and black. I’ve been reading everything I can to understand this planning tool and feel like it has been worth the effort. More information on this planning strategy on my next entry with examples of what I am talking about. Sorry for the font change in the middle. Part of the text was done in Word and the other here on the blog page. I can't seem to get them both the same size.