New work

Jul 18, 2011

summer plateau

To let be or not to let be, that is the question. 

One of the more challenging parts of the creative process is to know when a piece is finished.  When I'm not sure if a work is done, I like to prop it up on my art desk and let it marinate.  Usually I know within a few days if a composition needs to be changed or if the piece just needs to be signed.

I went through this process three times with my latest work, summer plateau.  I'm not sure why some pieces are easier to finish than others, maybe it's attributed to hormones, the moon cycle, divine intervention, sheer luck, or all of the above.

On a few occasions, my work has sat for several weeks/months, and then I decide to paint over the entire thing.  I've painted over a piece before that I spent 40+ hours on.  My husband considered it a travesty, but I still have no remorse.  If I'm not emotionally connected to a piece, then it doesn't have any value to me.  The canvas itself actually becomes more valuable to me.

another recent work, just beyond the trees

The artistic journey is a beautiful thing, but one that can often be laborious.  Many folks unfortunately equate talent with ease.  They think,  If I was a naturally gifted artist, then this would come easily to me.  During my time as an art teacher, I regularly had students who wanted to give up on a project too quicklyBut the value of the creative experience does not solely come from ability.  Self-discipline, fortitude, and patience are also key factors in an artist's success, as well as a bit of inspiration and luck.

. . .  all things that I'm challenged by daily.  


lamina @ do a bit said...

It's great to hear about your process... thank you for sharing :) I love the idea of allowing art to marinate! It really shows how much time and effort goes into your work! Love these two peices they are beautiful :)

Sarah said...

I really enjoyed reading about your creative process! Your use of line and color is wonderful - keeps the eye moving throughout the whole piece!

ThisTinder said...

I can totally relate. I still want to 'finish' pieces that have been done for years :) As I improve in skill, I have to remind myself not to go back and 'fix' was all part of getting here.

Love your new piece; the contrast of the yellow and blue is perfect!

April said...

i love the yellow in summer plateau.
beautiful. i know it's a personal thing but it sure looks complete to me.

Lauren said...

it's always breath-taking to look at your work. i come to your blog when i'm feeling like i'm in an art rut and need some inspiration. your creativity is so lovely! I want to take a walk in your landscapes.

Nicole | Blue Bicicletta said...

oh, amen to this. I have ripped up drawings for scrap paper at times because I never could get this one or that one to really work and speak. And I totally agree that talent and ease and the creative process are not mutually exclusive. Being an artist takes patience, like you say, and sitting down every day and doing it. There is something very heartening about that fact to me!

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