Sunday, July 15, 2018

Here Comes Trouble, again.

I found this old post of mine and thought I would share it again. It seems to be a continuation of yesterday's post.

Here Comes Trouble

The most dangerous time in my painting process is the finishing stage. That last hour or so when I need to decide what to leave in and what to take out. The time of final corrections, the addition of highlights and accents that can only be added at this stage.

When I reach this point, strange as it sounds, I find I’m not seeing the painting as a whole presentation anymore. After working intensely for hours, my focus has slowly shifted to the individual elements and I could be heading for trouble. I have to force myself to stop, put the brush down and leave my studio for awhile. And often that isn’t easy. I’m tired and I want to finish. “Just one more stroke. Let me fix that spot, etc.” ….. Here comes trouble.

A successful painting is a sum of all it’s elements all working together, balancing and complementing each other. All working together to support the story line or focal point. When you begin to concentrate on each element separately you risk throwing the whole painting off balance. A few times I have gone beyond the point of no return and had no choice but to wipe the whole painting away. Frustrating! Especially when it had a good start and I just couldn’t stop fiddling.

Now I try to keep reminding myself of what my painting is about and ask if the element I am working on is important or a distraction. Discipline! The most important element in your studio.

Quotes that I read a long time ago and need to bear in mind.

  • “A painting is finished when you have simplified or taken out all you can.”
  • “If it looks good, leave it alone. Trying to make it better never works.”
  • “Working in stages lets the paint dry and your brain rest.”
  • "A painting is finished when you think it is 85% done."

Worth thinking about. Happy painting.


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Enough is Enough!

Last week I was painting with a friend. It was one of those wonderful days when the painting just seemed to flow off my brush. Then came the point when someone needed to grab my brush and say, “Enough is enough!”.

I caught myself beginning to tidy up, adding a bit here and there, straightening a line, just fiddling, and luckily, this time, stopped myself before I ruined my painting. But other times I have pushed a good painting over the brink and then in frustration, wiped it all away.

It’s all a matter of discipline. A famous artist once said, “A painting is finished when you think it’s about 85% done.”  I need to remember that. Knowing when to stop is hard. Stopping is even harder.

Luckily I didn’t ruin this one.

The Upper Pasture, 8x10, oil

This painting is available in my Ebay Store - landscapes

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