Lately I've been reworking a lot of paintings. Not my favorite way of working but as an artist I must follow my muse.
It's tempting to let something go that you can see flaws in.
Tempting yes, but ultimately it works against us as artists as it dilutes the over all quality of our oeuvre.
Why that matters is different to each of us. It does matter to me. I want my best stuff here representing myself and my work after I've exited this mortal coil. I don't want a bunch of also ran paintings sorted through the mix
|Gorilla by M Francis McCarthy|
A while back I found that I could produce more good paintings by planning things out before painting.
That did indeed work for quite a while. However, there are limits to what planning can achieve. Especially when working in the studio from photos and drawings.
I've written about some of the pitfalls inherent in working from photographs here.
Even knowing what I do about all the pitfalls I've gotten zapped on about a dozen or so recent works.
As a consequence most need reworking to be brought up to the level I think they should be as landscape paintings. I've been reworking paintings for the last few weeks now and to a good effect in most cases.
Generally I've avoided reworking paintings in the past for a few reasons:
- Picking at paintings is a recipe for disaster and is too easy to do if you don't leave your work alone.
- Nothing is ever perfect. It's good realize this and let things be.
- Gotta keep moving. Better to produce many paintings, than spend too much time picking and scratching at a few.
I've recently hit a new plateau as a painter and because of that I'm "seeing" things I id not before. Since the paintings are recent and not in galleries or on display anywhere I'm free to try and bring them up to the level of my current vision. That's a good reason to repaint in my view.
I share this part of my painting journey in the hopes that it will help some of you that have also reached similar plateaus in your work.
A bit about "Gorilla" He is inked using pen and ink and also the computer. Many times I would print out photos and work directly on the image with pen or brush. Then scan in and finish the image.
I was always short on time at Jack Nightingale Artworks and this was one of my many coping strategies. Gorilla came out pretty well but using photos like this can be a seductive potential trap even for experienced illustrators. You have been warned...