Lately, I've been trying to keep my paintings fresh, make them more painterly, use color more boldly. I painted the oranges and grapes above after looking closely at similar paintings by pastel artist, Jen Evenhus. I learned while doing this, and I do like the results. However, putting the lessons into something entirely my own (not looking closely at similar paintings) is quite a bit harder and less successful.
Above is a pastel painting in which I was trying to keep things fresh and at least somewhat bold. I'm still on a fairly steep learning curve with pastels, and in addition, I used some old fixative, which accounts for most of the splotches. Yet I did learned from this one, as well.
Last, another oil painting. This one seems farther from the freshness and boldness I was searching for. Too fussy, not very painterly. Seems to me a step backwards even from the pastel, yet better than many things I've painted. In fact, I recently compared some of my latest paintings from those done a year ago, and I've definitely grown! It just never feels fast enough! Back to the drawing board - literally!