Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Paint, scrape, repeat.

“I’ve always tried to hide my efforts and wished my works to have the light joyousness of springtime which never lets anyone suspect the labours it has cost me.” (Henri Matisse)
I seem to be scraping a lot of paint lately, which is a good thing.

Realizing my mistakes, adjusting to meet my vision and not settling for "okay" pushes me to find solutions and really think about what I'm putting down in paint.  Yes, the painting I'm working on looked superficially good, but inside I know I can do much better, so I push myself even when I don't want to redo something.  And I'm always glad that I spend the extra work time rather than settling for a mediocre piece that could have a detrimental effect to my reputation if let loose on the world.

This image is a crop of the block in of a painting of a drying cod that I'm working on.  The initial stages were fine, then I overworked it. Scraping back the paint, all except the top couple of inches - and in palette knife painting this is a big sacrifice of paint - provides me with a gift in return.  The removal of the paint leaves stains of diluted colour in exposed canvas as well as shapes in the background and shows me that I should change my palette to a higher key to harmonize the piece more effectively.

Taking a leap of faith and reworking as needed is a big part of the painting process for every artist. Revealing the underbelly of a painting is necessary sometimes, to reach the vision that only the artist can see.

Read some words of advice on reworking paintings by Robert Genn in The Painter's Keys.


Billie Crain said...

Good post, Jeanette. I followed the link and enjoyed the read, too. I spent last weekend tweaking a few watercolors in preparation for the gallery. One was also a commission. Thank God all were salvageable. The trick (I think) when I find myself having to rework things is keeping a cool head and not becoming discouraged. I like your attitude. Shrug it off and carry on.

Jeanette Jobson said...

You're right Billie, most things are salvageable and often become the better for the intervention. I believe their is a fear of drastically revising a painting that isn't going well. I do find that by making definite revisions quite often the path is shown to you or a different path opens up that wasn't considered previously.

All in all, its only materials and if you screw up sublimely does it really matter? No it doesn't. Only that inner voice stops us from forging ahead or makes us doubt that we should go the more difficult route. I always liked rocky paths...

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

sometimes I wish I could do that to a coloured pencil piece lol

but yeah its only paper and pencils, can try again :p loving working digitally now tho lol just click ctrl z and things are all better :p