Sunday, July 6, 2014

When to call it finished....

It's one of those things an artist is asked.....
"How do you decide when it's finished?"
Well, the truth is, sometimes I just say "it's finished",
and then there are those times when I just can't leave it alone.
I just have to keep going back thinking there might be another touch that will make it better.
That sometimes gets me in trouble of overworking it!
On the flip side, it can sometimes take on a new life.

I have been working on finishing two paintings this weekend.

The first one is the piece started at Barn Owl Nursery last weekend.
It was a very overcast gray day. 
No sunshine or shadows.
I started with my usual liquid acrylic underpainting
 So here is that beginning and sometimes ugly awkward stage in the process.
This is when I walk away and stand back several feet from my easel to get a different perspective.
It makes it easier to see shapes and values, and helps my eye to know where to go next.

Here is what I went home with on the first day of painting....
 Hmmmm......what to do.,....
I see a good composition happening, however it already has a feeling of being overworked.
Maybe too much blending?
Maybe I was just too tentitive with my mark-making.
It doesn't have the energy that I would like to show in my work.

So setting up an outdoor studio with my friend Denise on the
4th of July
was my opportunity to re-visit this painting and I brought along some others as well.

Being outdoors, I chose to brush off alot of the pastel
and try again with bolder strokes, colors and values.

 I decided to do a little dusting and add some marks similar in color.
Not all of the dusting is still showing in the final painting.
I consider that a good thing. 
A little bit is fun and expressive.

So, after adding more touches here and there,
I'm calling it finished!
17 X 11"

The second painting was started on location
 at one of the recent visits to Deepwood Gardens.
After the loose, liquid acylic underpainting 
I didn't hesitate to move right into applying pastels.
 I was very happy with what I came home with that day,
even though it was unfinished.
This piece had spontaneous marks, made with purpose.
This is the energy that I like to see!
I revisited it this weekend and had no struggles finishing this one.

 Here are some of the views that I had to look at
 for reference while painting at the gardens.
 Looking back on that day at Deepwood,
 I had spent time "loosening up" before I started this piece.
That could have alot to do with my ability to have had more success with my final painting.
 Denise and I started by doing some sketches in the lower gardens, in the shade.
 I moved from my sketch to doing a small study.

 These colorful zinnias were speaking to me!
I got a cheerful underpainting done,
then it was time for a lunch break with
 Deanna and Leslie joining us for the afternoon.
We moved painting locations, and got back to work.

A walk through the grounds with Rachel, Lily and Gracie
was the perfect way to finish the visit to 
on a sunny summer day!

I good lesson was learned from these painting experiences.
I will take time to do some sketching and small studies when going out to paint!

17 X 11"

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