Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Looking for perfection



I've got my fingers in several pies lately and am completing the last couple of pieces for my gyotaku project.  Why is it that when you have a body of work, there is always a need to replace pieces with others you feel are better?  I line them up and look at them, then take one or two out and mentally make a note to redo a print or two and try that instead in the frame.

Its a built in process for making myself crazy, but I can't help doing it.  Thank heavens I'm not a baker or the house would be full of cakes, pies, and biscuits as I strive for perfection.  Its that same little voice in my head that helps me screw up paintings too.  You know, its the "I'll just add another layer." or "I'll repaint that tiny section."  Then before you know it, you've got another piece for the never never shelf.

One of these last pieces is of  brook trout.  Despite the sedate print in pthalo blue, I wanted to hint at the colour of the actual fish and put down layers of watercolour, letting the bleed together in sections with the background.  Each print that I produce, even if its from the same fish, is entirely different and the end result is something beyond my control.  At the risk of sounding crazy, the fish and the paper tell me what to do.

Now I must finish this conversation with a brookie...

5 comments:

RH Carpenter said...

Beautiful little fishes :) I liked your term "the never never shelf" as I have so many like that - not on a shelf but in a portfolio or box, knowing they won't be anything. Your drawing of the gannet is so strong! In your face composition that works great. I'm liking your painting of it, too, soaring over the water.

Billie Crain said...

I think when an artist moves away from realism it's common to second guess one's self. Knowing when a piece is done is often tricky. IMO when moving between realism(I'm defining realism here as technical skill alone)and something more free and instinctual you can wind up with a foot in both worlds and creative conflict ensues. For what it's worth, that's been my experience. Speaking for myself, I often doubt my own instincts and have ruined quite a few pieces because of it. I have a piece right now that is sitting in limbo because I feel it needs something more. I'm just not sure what and I'm afraid to ruin it by adding the wrong thing.:( In a nutshell, I can sympathize.

Hedera said...

I can also empathise...
Was it Degas who would continue to make small adjustments to his work even when when it was hanging in a gallery?

Olivia said...

In love with your fishes Jeanette !

Jeanette said...

Thanks Rhonda. Yes, we all have a shelf, drawer or similar where 'unknowns' sit and await their fate. :)

The position of the gannet, those huge outspread wings, high over the ocean gives me a touch of vertigo when I look at. The drawing becomes the easy part. The painting is the challenge.

Yes, Billie, defining that moment when internally you realize that you've done what you can and it looks like the vision in your head can be tricky.

And you're right, a leg in both worlds makes it more difficult to know the moment.

Oh Hedera, I hope I don't reach that stage of standing, paintbrush in hand in a gallery, doing touch ups! :) Having said that I know I do stand in front of framed pieces thinking, "I wish I had done....xyz to it." Sad isn't it?

Olivia, thanks so much. The fishes always call me. You too, I think. We swim in the same sea.