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Re-working Your Art

April 11, 2013

Re-working Your Art

Sometimes we artists begin with a “great idea” that absolutely flops.  What do we do with those art pieces that are not functioning well? Here is my description of the approach I used for one of my work.

Primordial Wales View 2

Primordial Wales View 2

I began the painting on Rives BFK paper. It was a combination of Medieval arches and a female form rendered in watercolors. I took the idea from a sketch rendered a few years earlier during my travels.

It was just not working for me.  I added additional media, such as oil pastel, to make the colors bold. It helped for creating the lighting in the archways, but not in other areas of the artwork.

So, I decided to add some collage elements. Choosing to cut out some flowers and bugs from a calendar to work into the overall design of the piece. It was interesting, but not exactly the direction the work should have gone!

I set the painting in my living room, and allowed myself to just have it sit…while I pondered what was needed.  It sat for two weeks while I contemplated what was not pleasing me about the work. Then, remembered that sometimes photographs are better when they are cropped.  Large is not always better!

I measured and cut it up into several smaller pieces.  I arranged the pieces with space between each one.  I next used gesso to cover over the collage elements that were distracting within the overall design.  I added thick gesso in floral patterns within the flowers. Then I had painted the flowers the colors that would work within the painting as a whole.

This is just one example.  How often has an artwork not developed in the manner that I liked? It has only happened with four artworks.

One artwork started as a daytime painting with a brilliant gold clouded blue sky. It ended as a painting with purple clouds. Two of the artworks were sanded and many new layers of gesso painted before beginning a completely different idea. The last one is the painting previously discussed in this blog.

I would like to see what other artists have done.  Please comment and let me know how you resolve composition problems!

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