Monday, August 16, 2010


I know that I produce more effectively if I have a deadline to meet.   It can be a self imposed deadline or one set externally but either way, the clock is a prime motivator.

Today was cool and damp so I spent it in the studio drawing and sorting images for upcoming exhibition opportunities.   I decided to give myself a little challenge and see what would come of it.  I took a 12 x 24" gallery canvas, oil paint, a herring and a timer and gave myself an hour to produce something that I hoped would approximate a fish at the end.

This is the result.

I can fiddle something to death sometimes.  You know how it is.  You have a piece painted and you continue to add layers or change colours and before you know it, its something entirely different, and often not what matches the vision in your head.

Like a gut reaction that is often right, first strokes, done alla prima can often be the best.


Jo Castillo said...

This is wonderful. I was having this same conversation with myself today. I tend to procrastinate and do nothing so I give myself an hour or so to paint something and it is better. Well, better than when I pick something until it is overworked. Thanks. Again, I really like this, the color is amazing.

Gary said...

I really like the idea of a one hour painting. Great way to get the "juices" flowing in the studio. It works for students too. It may seem intimidating - but at the same time seems gives license - that's the feeling were going for...

r garriott said...

Great comments on having a deadline, and a time limit.

This is a lovely fish head.

Annaquarel.les said...

Lovely! Congratulations!Love your paintings.
I know what to have a time limit involves. Most part of the year I paint against the clock because I have a full time job and have to make the most of it. Now that I have more free time, I tend to procrastinate. Aren't we contradictory?

Jeanette said...

Jo, I think we all tend to become less productive if we think we have lots of time. Deadlines do help push me forward sometimes.

Gary, good to hear from you again. Yes, a short time limit works wonders sometimes and does help produce gut reaction brush strokes instead of nibbling away at something forever.

r garriot, thanks so much for commenting.

Aren't we just Annaquarel? It seems less time spurs us on to complete work.

tracywall said...

I'm so in agreement, Jeanette. After taking a figure painting class with short deadlines every week, I've come to love alla prima work. Seems more form the gut. When I start dinking around wioth the details, it just takes the spirit away.
This one is special!

Jeanette said...

Shorter time frames do make every mark count Tracy and your figure classes especially so when you're trying to get gesture and form down.

I really believe that setting time limits for yourself a few times a week does wonders for the flow of energy and concentration.