On the eastside of Boothbay Harbor, the Catholic Church stands sentinel over the town. It has been painted countless times from countless angles. Avoiding the cliche becomes more difficult with each attempt.
Once I painted it while some steeplejacks were painting the steeple. Ropes, ladders, painters and buckets all animated the scene. In this case, I changed the attitude toward the subject. It was definitely not Sunday morning!
Color choices will also affect the perception of a well known subject.
Sometimes trying to avoid a trite presentation will force you to try a completely different approach in style. Here are two paintings in which I was experimenting with color and style. I thought the veils of color in the second painting would suggest a kind of spirituality that a more realistic sky couldn't accomplish, so I had to get inventive. Eventually that led me to apply the things I learned to other subjects.