Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Round Flowers: Stuck for Awhile

Partial view of a painting in progress; temporarily named Round Flowers
I've been asked to document some paintings as they progress so that you can see what changes come about as layers are added and sanded down. Although it may be more wise to post them in retrospect, I'll take my chances and start with this image, a partial view of a 40" x 66" painting. I say "take my chances" because I'm currently at a loss as to where this will go next! There's a good chance that most of what you see will barely be visible in the end, if at all.

This is a nice example to demonstrate the endless decisions that are made during my creative process. Yes, sometimes I do start out with a layout/design in mind. Interestingly, it does give me a starting point, but often changes drastically before the piece is done. Sometimes I just start laying down paint to see where it takes me. That was the case with this particular piece.

As you may imagine, this approach often creates dilemmas. For example, I am pleased with the white circles and drips that suggest flowers and stems. But now I need to decide how much presence they can still have when the whole piece is complete. Sometimes a successful area will get covered up to make it all work. But these predicaments are what makes the process both challenging and rewarding. If I'm not learning something as I go, I lose interest pretty quickly.

This process relies heavily on the ability to sense when a painting is "done". Sometimes I'll have to step back for a few days or even weeks to see everything with fresh eyes. Then I may decide it is indeed done or that it may only need work in a certain area. Or I may have even lost enough momentum that I decide to change the majority of the work and what had been a potentially finished piece becomes a background layer in the next step of the process.

I think I'll be setting this one aside for now. ;-)

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