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Turtle Medicine 30"x15" Oil on Canvas

Here is the latest painting.  It is a still life setup in a shadowbox.  Picked a bunch of western related artifacts.
I am not sure about being finished with this.  I've been at it for about six weeks and I think I need to set it aside for a while.  All comments and suggestions are welcome,



  • I thought that was a photo of the setup! Awesome painting skills here!

    Really well done. :)
  • Another cracker @GTO, fantastic work

  • Thanks @MichaelD and @Richard_P.  
    I struggled with this one.  I repainted the basket and the clay pot twice and I still see things I have to tweak.  Ugh. It’s been a long uphill climb on this one.
  • Terrific.  Really interesting artifacts.  The eye goes straight to the middle and I'm wondering if that central focal point shouldn't have been moved to a third line.  Just saying.  I really like it, and fantastic execution. Very accomplished.
  • @GTO
    I love all the textures and variations you provide in this painting. Well done. 
  • Wow! This is awesome. There are a bunch of different patterns, but you have made it all work together even still! Really lovely! 💛
  • This is stunning, @GTO! I love the composition - the way the mats lead us into the painting and to the right, then my eyes go to the basket weave platter then across to that beautiful jar and round again as I explore the various smaller objects. The colours and patterns are fascinating. There's so much in this that one could look at it for hours. It's another beauty!  :)
  • Extraordinary result! Amazing 
  • Spectacular! Where did you get the artifacts?
  • Thanks @Allie the patterns took a lot of patience to do.
    @kaustavM thanks this one was a challenge.
    @tassieguy appreciate your feedback.  The composition is circular like that.  I tried to keep the viewers eyes to stay in the painting.  Even with the little deerskin bag hanging, the strings are kept subtle.  And I sharpened and brightened the turtle to keep you in the space.  The only way out is the arrows to the right but the turtle helps to prevent you from going that way and the black feathers behind the arrows help point you back towards the turtle.  I knew having the large circular basket in the center was going to be a challenge compositionally.
  • @HondoRW the feathers I collected while hiking.  The basket and blanket from a western art gallery.  The clay pot from a gallery in Phoenix Arizona. The turtle from Mexico.  The arrows and bag from a local fall reenactment event.  I have a friend, Larry, who belonged to a “Mountain Man” organization where they made their own clothes an did re-enactments, so we went to a lot of western themed events and places.  Here’s a painting I did of Larry back in 2006. Before DMP.  You can see a big difference in how DMP has changed my painting.

  • Gorgeous painting. Your technical skills are amazing.  That basket.  Oh my!  I'm speechless.
  • Thank you @oilpainter1950 for your generous complement.  After six weeks or so of working on this and knowing I have  another couple days work to do on it, I am so ready to move onto the next one.  
  • edited May 31
    That's an interesting painting of your mountain man friend, @GTO. But what a leap you have made in terms of realism. Technically, you're on an entirely different level now. The DMP approach (and, of course, a lot of hard work and patience) have obviously made a big difference to the quality of your work. You've learned how to "see" and to translate what you see into paint on canvas. The paintings you are doing now are just stunning. I look forward to the next.     :)
  • Hi @GTO – Congratulations! What a wonderful painting and composition. I like centered circular designs in a long horizontal format as well, so I was sold on this from the start. How interesting that the details on the single jar on left balance all the individual objects on the right. How many hours do you have in on it? 

    My only suggestion for change is that the pattern in the woven rug in front seems to be hard-edged, which doesn’t read correctly for me. My eye keeps coming back to the lower edge of the center of painting, where the yellow ochre and dull green design dominate. 

  • edited May 30
    Sir your paintings are excellent!  I love them both, agree with all the above comments.
    I'm pretty much sure the first painting is r done =) , it looks like a picture when I look at the thumbnail on my phone until I enlarge the photo.  Love the composition too!
    Thanks for posting!
  • Thanks @Marinos_88, it’s close but not quite “fully baked” yet.

    @Desertsky I probably have seventy ie eighty hours in it.  And yes the high chroma on those green diamonds in the rug are distracting.  That’s one of the things I have to work on along with the color and shadow on the jar and the curves on the left side of the rug.  And…. Oh heck, is any painting ever really finished!🧐

    @tassieguy  thanks for your comments on the progress.  As you must know so well it is a lot of work, and patience.  And Marks instructions is what got me going into this direction.  Thanks Mark!  This forum too has made a big difference.  It is a great support and motivating factor.

  • You’ve come a long way @GTO. But the portrait of your friend still shows a lot of skill. I’d like to see what you could do with it now. No doubt it would be superb. 
  • Thanks @HondoRW maybe one of these days.  😀
  • Really good work. Congratulations! 
  • Thanks @Leo2015 I very much appreciate your feedback.  
  • @GTO This is unbelievable , i really thought it's a pic of your set up. Oh my God, hats off to you
  • Thank you very much @vartikasinha for your comments and taking the time to check it out.
  • Awesome, @GTO I love the textural feel of the objects and the colors work so well together!  There is a beautiful warmth to this that is so pleasing to look at. Amazing job!!! 
  • Thanks @Bucky. The subject has a lot of warm grays and umber that does lend itself towards a nice warm feel.
  • I too thought it was a picture of the setup....Especially like the basket

  • Thanks @Explore for your comments.  Very much appreciated.
  • @GTO - Some random thoughts: The design of your painting reminds me of Kyle Polzin's compositions. I read somewhere that Mr. Polzin borrows genuine museum items such as Native American beaded robes for his compositions. I have collected some Western USA props from Goodwill and the Salvation Army stores, as well as just wandering around in the boonies in Arizona. Are you in the southwest or do you just like the SW arts and crafts? I moved to central Arizona a few years ago and love it. 

    I try to stay under 100 hours on a painting because when I put that many hours in, it usually means I am painting it to death:) But - I once repainted a difficult section 5 times before I got it right. I am really glad I did not give up. It was a value and contrast reduction problem. 
  • Beautiful painting @GTO, the light on the basket is amazing :)
    I got clay pot just like this one but in gray color, love it.
  • Thanks @ArtGal I wondered about the lighting on the basket.  Glad that you think it works well.

    @Desertsky Im in Indiana.  Flat country, lots of trees and farm fields.   Ive always loved the southwest though and have visited it many times.  I’d be open to moving there but my wife doesn’t seem to feel the same way.  
    I know what you mean about painting a painting to death but then davinci worked on the Mona Lisa for about four years. So I guess six weeks isn’t such a long time after all.
    But I’m am always open to wiping or scraping paint off if it is not right.  There’s no sense in continuing if it’s wrong.   I also don’t want to leave a lot of things to be “corrected “ later.  It becomes impossible to do a lot of correcting at the end.
  • Wonderful work.  You keep that delicate balance between photographic and the look of a  painting.  That has tremendous appeal for me.

  • Thanks @hjgalbraith.  I appreciate that kind of feedback.  The one DMP painting that I sold so far (a museum purchased) was very realistic.  (The octagonal jar with orange and small statue.). I have been wondering how far to take the realism and when I did this painting I was getting concerned that I was being too painterly.  
    My general feeling is that it is ok to be painterly but you must be accurate.  

  • Love the basket, that level of detail had  to be a lot of work!
  • Thanks @MJC. The basket and jar was repainted twice.  They both required a lot of attention and patience.  It was the spiral and overall pattern in the basket that was challenging.   The turtle, hanging bag, and feathers practically painted themselves.  Those were pure bliss to paint.
  • @GTO, it's perfect. Perfectly beautiful.  :)
  • I agree. It's done, don't touch it! :)
  • I agree as well, @GTO, it's perfect :)
  • edited June 11
    See, I told you so. It's perfect. Don't overwork it. Time to start the next masterpiece, @GTO:)
  • Stunning, absolutely stunning.
  • Really well done @GTO, looks fantastic

  • GTOGTO -
    edited 11:46AM
    Thanks @MichaelD @CBG @tassieguy @ArtGal . I think I’m calling this one done.  Time to look forward to the next painting. 

    The eagle feather is actually a turkey feather made to look like an eagle feather.  I can tell because this one curves whereas eagle feathers are straight.  And the spline has a deep groove.  But in any case the feather symbolizes life, protection, guarding of the home.  It is a positive symbol. 
  • This is incredible @GTO
    The detail is out of this world. 
    If you can paint this so beautifully , it means there’s nothing you can’t paint. 

  • That is very kind of you to say @Hilary.  Each painting is a greater challenge than the one before.  
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