Saturday, November 1, 2014

'Additions and changes' or 'Is it ever really finished?'

Campanula and jug on long table
20X47.5       Acrylic on wood

Is it ever really finished?... Well in this case I'd have to say yes. I originally painted and finished this painting in 2009, I only hung it once with a gallery in Scottsdale Arizona for a while.  I'm not sure why I didn't give it more exposure, but recently I took a look at it and felt like a change. This happens from time to time, I wouldn't say there's anything ever wrong with the old painting, it's more that my ideas and stylistic choices have changed or evolved a little and I want to incorporate some of those ideas into the old painting.

I think as artists we always want to go back and adjust or tweak works. I think of Velasquez's famous painting Las Meninas, and the adding of his red cross (the Order of Santiago) on his clothes many years later. Possibly the vainest, most unnecessary adjustment ever? But who am I to judge. Of course there are many other examples of painters revisiting works and adjusting or changing.
 Velasquez     Las Meninas

It's the curse of the artist to always want to change, add or adjust. In many ways, it's what we have trained to do. We're always looking, analyzing, critiquing; so why not cast that same gaze on an earlier finished work?

The 2009 painting before it's adjustment

You'll see from the details below, I kept the flavor of the painting in the new additions and changes. I allowed for a lot of under painting to show through, the colors of the purple/violet table reacting beautifully with the new warm table hues.

The patterning within the table cloth was kept loose and clumsy, breathing life into the table cloth. There's a risk when reworking to get too tight and careful; and much of this painting had been carefully rendered so it was important to keep things loose and fresh.


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