Thursday, July 29, 2010

Creation and Destruction

For the first time in many weeks I was able to drag myself into the studio and work on a painting yesterday. It shouldn’t be that hard to get myself in there, but somehow it always is unless I’m already immersed in a new painting. Just like going to the barn, I procrastinate and find more urgent things to do but always enjoy myself once I’m there. But, that’s a topic for another day.

I’ve had an inquiry about the Belgian painting and need to get it finished, but I also need to warm up for it by working on less crucial works. So, I decided to take one of my more successful quickie paintings from last winter and rework it to more completion. This, you may remember, is Yuri the German Shepherd who lives at the barn where I board my horse. 

The basic painting was okay, but I never liked the background. The dog needed more finishing as well, giving him more depth and a hair coat. After about four more hours of painting on this little 8x10 inch canvas board, this is what I came up with (Above). It still needs work, namely a toned down background and a few corrections here and there, but those will have to wait until it’s dry again.

Here are the two versions together so that you can see the difference.

On the other end of the creative spectrum, I made the big decision to destroy a few of my less successful works. Some had been hanging around for years with no one expressing any interest in them, and others were works that were just not very good. This may seem like a really drastic step to take, but I found it incredibly freeing. For one thing, I no longer have to look at these failures and wonder what on earth I’m going to do with them for the rest of eternity. For another, it frees up storage space for new works of art. And thirdly I don’t have reminders hanging around of my current failures or of how less skilled I was in the past.

Now, mind you, there are still a few older paintings hanging around that I will keep for a while longer because they represent milestones in my artistic advancement.

Yesterday I visited my hairdresser who also happens to be a neighbor and friend. She clued me in on why none of the neighbors visited during the studio tour. It seems that my own sign which I put out two days ahead of the event gave them the impression that I was going to have regular Sunday open studio hours from now on, and they planned to visit on another Sunday. None of them were aware of the studio tour, which is a good indication that advertising for the event needs to be improved next year.

It was nice to find out that my neighbors weren’t ignoring me after all and is incentive to do something on my own this fall. Now I can look forward to that and concentrate on getting new paintings done.

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