Sunday, January 27, 2013

Metamorphosis of "Red Oval Rings"

In progress (and somewhat skewed)
acrylic and graphite on canvas
"30 x 30"

Frost on Moss -- a delightful microcosm just beyond my window 
Well, what can I say about "Red Oval Rings"?  A couple of people made a couple of comments about the painting and offered a few ideas regarding changing what I had considered to be a finished work.  I decided to move forward with altering the painting last Saturday evening, but attempted something different than the ideas suggested:  I added an orange glaze to a portion of the lower part of the painting but immediately considered it a catastrophic decision.  Unfortunately, I couldn't remove it all; so. . . within the matter of an instant, I had to make a bold decision to treat the entire painting to the orange glaze, (albeit, much diluted).  What happened next was a series of relatively quick decisions to further alter the palette which had just shifted appreciably.  

I was not a happy camper when I finally called it quits late that night.  It wasn't so much the fact that the painting was now headed in a different direction; it was more about loss and frustration. I was sad to have "lost" a painting in the sense that the former image was now gone; and very frustrated that a painting that I had considered to be finished was now going to require many more hours to finish -- hours that I had hoped to be investing in a new piece.

The next day was spent deliberating about whether to add graphite lines to the perimeters of the figures in the lower half of the painting and if so, whether to handle the lines differently on the white stripes than on the muted colored stripes (I did).  I also deliberated about whether to add lines to define the vertical bar in the lower half and embellish the bar in the upper half, and whether to add a light grey glaze to the lower portion of the vertical bar. (I did.)  Since then, I've been observing my "new painting " deliberating about my next step and specifically, the possibility of lightening the blue and/or adding some areas of "aged pomegranate" hue. 

 The irony of all of this is that prior to deciding to lay down that pesky orange glaze, I talked to my husband about the "gravity" of such "no way back" decisions for artists -- and the boldness required to take the flying leap and risk losing hours and hours of work, and in some cases, a fair amount of expense in materials.   But, on the other hand, there is the notion of "nothing ventured, nothing lost" and also, "no pain, no gain".  Which leads me to this wonderful post on the subject of taking risks by one of favorite painters, Nicholas Wilton   (Yes, I've mentioned him more than once here, and have no doubt provided a link to his post on risk, before; but it's been awhile and the post is worth reading again and again.) 

Here's hoping for a wonderful week ahead for everyone!


Michelle Brunner said...

Hi Gloria!

I actually like how your painting is coming along! I know you said you were frustrated with it but as someone seeing it for the first time, I really like it! Your style is so fresh and organic and really inspires me!

P.s. I love your comment about risk-taking in art! I am constantly trying to get my students to take risks in their art and I understand how scary but also how rewarding it can be sometimes!

Kristen Donegan said...

I can really relate to this post Gloria!
But I have to tell you I love the change in this painting- it feels more mature than the original, more refined...I know the frustration you speak of but isn't it in a way a metaphor for life-
Nothing really worth doing comes easy- we learn so much from falling and struggling and we are stronger and more beautiful for it :)