I have noticed how hard it is to abandon
a large work that has a great deal of time and money
invested in it. While this is great for perseverance, and problem solving,
it doesn't do much for the rapid repetition that some things
need for learning...
Enter the Study.
We are all taught, as students, the value of doing a "study." It may be in pencil, done of inferior material or just a smaller version of the intended piece. At some point we (I anyway) drift off to thinking that everything we (I) start is intended to be a finished masterpiece. Ugh. It took some rather large, embarrassing pieces for me recently to have the value of the "study" brought front and center once again.
Thus I went to Michaels (yes, Michaels) and loaded up on 5 x 7 and 6 x 8 cardboard backed canvases. They are a small investment and once I apply several coats of white gesso they serve well as a support for painting with acrylic or oil.
My intention is to "whip" out some small versions of things I might want to paint in larger sizes. My intention is to feel free to take chances with the way I approach a painting. My intention is to play with local scenes that folks might recognize and want as a souvenir. My intention is (D) all of the above!
my studio drying table with works in progress
The Profile Trail is one of the most popular hiking areas up here. It winds up the backside of Grandfather Mountain and unless you have done the path you are totally unaware that there is another view of the famous profile:
View of the Profile, 12 x 6
(Intention #1: check) In a larger size I think it will need something in the space on left, maybe a branch? That's a lot of blue sky that would need to be more interesting if it took up more real estate.
One of the elements of a memorable painting is that there is something unexpected in it. "Unexpected surprises" (Wolf Kahn and others) provide a sense of play but require a risk on the part of the painter. I definitely want more play and have to be willing to take more risks....
Grandfather Mountain Chin Up, 5 x 7
These colors do not appear as "risky" when photographed as they do on canvas! This was actually one of the more enjoyable depictions I have done of the famous old man. I think that's a sign in and of itself! (Intention #2: check! take risks)
Corn Flowers, 8 x 6
I won't be painting this particular composition much larger I learned. I loved painting it but feel that much larger would need more in the painting. Good lesson (saved some canvas there) but I liked it as a small composition of a very prevalent, colorful flower. And it SOLD (intention #3 accomplished!)
So bear with me, I think I am on to something that may prove very helpful in my development as a risk-taking, selling-kind of painter. Well, at least the former! But really...what took me so long to return to basics? I know there are more small pieces to come (she says eyeing the stack of canvases) so get ready for some experiments, I'll try to share the good as well as the bad and ugly. But only the good will hang around for sale!