Monday, September 10, 2007

Process II, When Frustration sets in

For any of you who read my earlier post about process, here is a follow up. A day or so after the last painting was worked on, I started another. I find it is good to have several paintings going at the same time, so that when one begins to get muddy, you can set it aside and still have another painting to work on. The paintings seem to influence each other, and I learn more this way.

This new painting did not go as smoothly for me as the first one. (By the way, that first painting I have decided to name "Change is Inevitable" and it measures 30 x 36".) I used the same steps as on the earlier painting. First, I chose my sketch and taped it to the wall, where it is easily seen. Then, I did the drawing in black charcoal. The black charcoal lines were reiterated in oil paint. Again, the drawing is not about reproducing the sketch perfectly, but about finding the most balanced composition on the canvas. Right away, I ran into some issues, since the sketch is on a square piece of paper, but the canvas I used is much more rectangular. You can see how I started to stretch out shapes to activate more of the space.

It's hard to say where, exactly, this painting began to fall apart for me. I was having fun at the beginning, but looking at the photos, I can see that the composition is not solid because of the difference in shape between the sketch and the canvas. I did begin to add color, and advance the painting in much the same way as the first painting.
You can see that I am still turning the painting, as I usually do, to make sure I am working the whole surface of the canvas.

I still like the loose expressive qualities of the brushwork at this stage. I use very little medium when I paint, because I find that the medium is the smelly part, and my studio space has never been large or particularly well ventilated. So, necessitity is once more the mother of this style I have been using. I love the way thick paint looks anyway. Like frosting, with lots of texture. Yummy. The other thing I want you to notice at this stage is the part in the far left of the canvas. This will eventually become the crux of the whole painting for me.

I realized I had this space over in that area that somehow felt empty. You can see that I thought making some kind of visual texture might help it, so I used circular brushstrokes to fill in the blue area. That area began to irritate me, and even though I kept turning the painting, to work the whole canvas, that ONE section got the most attention.

One thing I did differently with this painting is that many of the shapes became closed within the edges of the canvas. The other painting had a lot more areas where one color melted into another, without the benefit of lines (or boundaries, as I sometimes think of them.) I continued to feel irritated, and ultimately ANGRY at that troublesome section on the left. (Now it's on the right side.)
I worked much longer and harder on this painting, at one point I even took it off the easel and walked it into the other room! I reworked a tiny painting to list on etsy, and completed two miniature paintings, the whole time obsessing over this big one. I finally caved, put it back on the easel, and worried it some more. The whole time I felt very dissatisfied.

Interestingly enough, This second painting, called "Winds of Change" is the one Matthias says he likes the best. I still like the first one better, but at least I don't hate this one as much as I did when I finally took it off the easel.

I have yet to decide if I will rework the "Winds of Change". I am feeling pretty good about the first one, but you never know. That one may get a facelift, as well.


Sherrie said...

Hey, Karine! Glad to see you're back to work! I'm sure it feels great. I'm on the road just now, and will be again all next week, so I'm starting to get a little twitchy myself. Thanks for staying in touch.

lee said...

Love again how you explain your technique and the way you work. I cant work on more than 2 things at once. I wish I could but I am always thinking of whatelse needs to be done on my work