My patron, Robert Parsons, suggested I look at the work of Leo Garel. I was already looking at Dasburg and Diebenkorn, so it wasn’t a big stretch to consider Garel’s work, although there isn’t a lot of it on the internet, it appears.
I got the general idea from the few pieces I could see, and when we have taken them into context with contemporary landscape painters like Alyce Frank, etc., and I did something I hadn’t done before, and that is, decide to begin a painting very late at night. I stood at the easel and painted over a canvas that Rick brought home from a local artist’s garage sale of canvases that could be re-used, so this was at least the third time around for this surface.
For some reason, either I was just tired enough to feel inspired, or just open enough to pick up on subtle energies, but the landscape I ended up with is one of my favorite paintings to date.
“A Field in El Prado,” oil on canvas by Melwell, 16×20, was done in about 20 minutes. It felt inspired. I only wish all my subsequent paintings were as successful as this one.
Breakthroughs don’t happen often, but when they do, they make little ripples throughout the work. I may have to sacrifice even more older surfaces and bring them into this new way of seeing and executing color and shape.
I did a second one the next day, trying to capture the same spontaneity as the first one, as just as expected, it wasn’t as successful, but I decided not to scrape it off and start over. I liked it “just enough” to keep it for a while.
“Sleepy Mountain Town,” oil on canvas by Melwell, 16×20, is the second in the series. I have taken a slight break now from painting in order to let a lot of these new principles to sink in. I want to make each surface count. These chunky paintings use up a lot of paint.