A pastel painting of my dogs on the beach
I decided that I wanted to paint my two Golden Retrievers into a beach scene.
In the original setting, we were walking down a quiet country road outside Apollo Bay, where we were holidaying on a nearby farm.
I sketched my two girls into the foreground and some Bathing Boxes into the background, before applying layers of pastel.
The more that the the painting developed, the less it seemed to work.
I think the problem was that I had two focal points. The foreground had the two dogs and the background the Bathing Boxes. They seemed to be competing with one another.
I wanted to include the bright and colourful Bathing Boxes and also to my dogs as a prominent feature. For a while I went round and round in circles.
In a state of exasperation, I took the painting into class, hoping to solicit a review.
"Cut the painting in half.'" one woman said.
I looked at her in astonishment and laughed, knowing full well that she was joking.
In fact, her suggestion quickly gathered support from everyone in the room but me.
Eventually, after a great deal of deliberation, I relented.