The reason I have started these expeditions or at least defining them is so that I can take each piece of work and take it to the highest quality rendition that my current skill sets allow me. I want to spend this entire year improving my skills so that I can reach a new level of mastery in my art.

I am not a patient person. I tend to want to do this just good enough and that just isn’t cutting with my art. The motivation is my own dissatisfaction in the work I am producing. No one else is pushing me to make better art! Mostly because my art doesn’t really matter to most, but it does matter to me. It is my desire to leave behind really good renditions of my grandchildren as a legacy to them. Along the way I might like to paint some portraits of other people or places but mostly I just want to leave my grandchildren paintings they will remember my by.

In order to discipline myself I came up with the idea of creating little 8 x 10 paintings that give me the ability to explore various techniques and possibilities for each painting without the fear that comes from having invested so much time with a that you are afraid of ruining it if you try something new.

In the past my paintings have been 16 x 20’s or 11 x 14’s and by the time I got down the likeness and had something I could call a good one I was so invested that I didn’t dare mess it up! So I needed a different approach and the expedition paintings seem to be just the freedom I need to explore all the possibilities before rendering it finished.

Once I complete these I can then decide if any have to potential to become among my best and are worth painting again as a larger painting and even possibly worth making and selling prints from. Oh the dreams!

Some of this stems from my own philosophy regarding what makes a great portrait. In my opinion a camera takes a picture. And yes these are nice. But an artist looks at the picture and sees so much more than the camera can possibly see. The artist’s goes on an expedition into the depth that only they can see until they deliver their rendition on canvas. This is what takes a painting to the level of great art.

Mostly I just want to improve my portraits and as they say “If you want a different result – you have to change something!” I have also began to experiment with water soluble oil paints and so far I really like them. For now though I want to stay with my acrylics and see how far I can take a portrait using only acrylics.

Under the top menu item you will find the category renditions. Each painting will begin as an exploration and then my rendition. It will be interesting to me to see my progress and hopefully at some point I will reach my desired results.

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