Friday, February 12, 2010


More on that troublesome painting. After posting my first revision, I get another critique, one that addresses my feeling of the clouds being too solid. I feel that I should do something about it. I want to do something. I go to the studio to see if the paint is still wet. It is, just. I can still fix it. But something makes me delay, and I go downstairs and spend two hours studying Spanish. After which there is no more time....
Okay, clearly I am avoiding the issue. Is this fear of digging into the painting, or am I avoiding changing what is really fine? I send this question out, and put it from my mind. Within a half hour, thinking no more about the problem, it is clear that the image on the canvas is keeping me from seeing what might be.
I get up the next morning (it is still wet... whew!) and scrape the troublesome cloud down. The ghosted first version retains my base design, while giving me clear space to apply fresh color and paint with a fresh mind.
This constructive/destructive/reconstructive process is something I rarely do, but it is surprisingly freeing


loriann said...

Love the changes. Art is never finished, only abandoned. Leonardo da Vinci
Don't you think it's true?

Karen E. Lewis said...

Sometimes we just have to DECLARE them done. And sign them.


Celeste Bergin said...

I definitely learned a lot from this painting! I like how you changed it.

Karen E. Lewis said...

Thanks. I learned from this process too, and probably wouldn't have discovered these things if I hadn't been so reckless as to post a problem painting on the web.

Just a follow-up. I used scraping out again this week in the studio. Now that I've done it once, i'ts part of my toolbox. What a freeing idea!