Retreats towards success in painting a difficult subject

Watercolor painting of enchanting Japanese islands
“Enchanting Japanese Islands”

Last year, 2014, I went to Sasebo, which is in Nagasaki, Japan. It is a wonderful place with many many islands. It’s called 99 islands though there are actually over 200.

I was with the family and thus had no chance to paint on site as I like to do so I had to do my paintings from the photographs I took of this place.

However, I soon encountered difficulties in trying to paint this scene well.

And I became thoroughly disappointed with my results.

I felt like I was trying to paint a scene that was beyond my ability to paint well.

Finally, I became so disappointed by my repeated poor results that I had to retreat from this particular subject and forget about it. I did this by focusing on other painting subjects.

After a week or so I returned and had another attempt. Again I got disappointing results and this led to another retreat.

The third time I met with success. And I consider the painting above one of my successes.

However, I still feel that even this successful result can be improved upon. And I’m now enjoying doing further paintings of the same scene with some variations.



I originally wrote this story in February of 2015.