Every artist knows of places where they feel they could spend the rest of their life painting and never run out of interesting subjects.For me it would be Maine or the North Woods of Wisconsin. All I need to do is take a walk in the woods and the ideas start flooding in. But how to decide what to paint?
When you literally can't see the forest through the trees (or maybe it would be better to say, can't see the painting through the details), I find it easier to eliminate details and look for abstract shapes of light and dark.
For example, I started this color study looking for abstract blotches of color to lay on the toned canvas. I was thinking of trees but painting them as abstract color notes. It was a good way to stay loose in the beginning and not get sucked into details too early.
Sorry about the blurry photo. However, it is a good example of how you should blur your eyes when painting as a way of eliminating detail and simplifying values.
click on the picture to enlarge the image
Walk in the Woods - Color Study
oil on canvas board