This Sketch is a study before and after the larger work “Recovery”. It is an experiment with a range of newer marks I had been working on, most evidently the balanced used of a dryer loaded brush and stretched pigment to reproduce a textural quality within the landscapes I was observing. This is most evident here in the red areas. There's also a loose quality about the application of the paint overall that is more difficult to achieve than it may appear.
The titles and subjects of these two closely related works are no accident. It would be disingenuous to claim that the desire to make things of beauty and aesthetic value always balanced easily with the need to achieve a civic life of blandly commercial viability. It seems our duty as creative persons to struggle and overcome periods of extreme self doubt. Thankfully there are some old mantras like “Inspiration comes while you work, not while you wait” that tend to bring us into the correct light.