I view the practice of painting and the practice of being an artist, a ‘work in progress’. In fact, I suppose that being a human being is all about ‘work in progress’. It’s a verb. It’s a noun.
Work In Progress
I often share my ‘work in progress‘ through social media – and a lot of the time, it’s sole purpose is to be a record for me to be able to refer back to the development of a painting or drawing. However, I’ve noticed the comments that folks put forward – “Oh, I like it just like this.”…..”Please don’t do anything more to it – it’s finished now.” …..”STOP! It’s beautiful now.”
Those comments are sometimes tempting to listen to and for me to stop the painting. They’re also a good reminder of how we each see a work differently and according to our point of view as well as our life’s experience.
What I love about the practice of painting is that it’s amazing to me at any stage – that’s why I do it. Sure, there’s an idea – a concept and image in my mind for the work, but it’s never exactly what ends up on the linen. I know we all have ideas about what our lives should be like as well – but rarely do they turn out how we plan them. In my mind, nothing is ever finished.
It’s been a few days…okay…weeks….. since I was able to work on this piece. Here’s where I’m at for the third session of this piece. I go hot and cold on it. There are parts right now that I just love, and parts that I really hate. Not having the best camera is also playing a bit of havoc with the reproduction quality here.
I’m looking forward to spending another day with it, working through some of the colour temperature on the shadows and highlights. Here, it looks a wee bit too orange and more saturated all over than the actual work is at this point. All in all, I’m not completely thrilled…but not discouraged either!
For those of you that missed the first two sessions, here’s the time-lapse video on the work in progress:
For information on the process, here are some earlier links on the blog:
I have times when I feel like I should abandon a work because I can’t quite figure out what it needs next, or how to approach it….or if it’s even worth it. Sometimes I keep going and end up totally messing things up when really what I should be doing is getting some distance and perspective on the piece.
Over the weekend, I was pretty sick. That forced “rest” meant no visiting the studio to see how “bad” things were in my mind with this work…and no chance to make a mistake out of impatience or indecision.
Not only did my body benefit from the rest, so did my mental attitude towards the work and I felt a bit more confidence in my approach to the painting this morning.
After a day’s good rest in bed, I hobbled upstairs to find “The Artist’s Daughter” not quite as poorly as I thought it at the last pass. In a couple of short hours of painting, I was able to bring it to a point today where I’m pleased and can clearly see the next few steps to get to the vision in my head for this piece.
Here’s where I’m at today and now I’m taking another rest, having learned my lesson.