Thursday, 8 March 2012
Revisiting Unfinished Paintings
I am often reluctant to go back to unfinished, or almost finished paintings. When my artwork is nearing completion and I am pleased with it I begin to worry that something I will do is going to ruin what I've managed to capture. Not all my paintings turn out well and the difference between getting a painting looking ok and looking great is often a stroke of luck, some days it's as if the muse is with me and sothing magical happens, other days I seem to be just following steps and the painting ends up looking artificial, over-worked or contrived. Hence I begin to get a bit edgy when adding the finishing touches and sometimes rather leave a painting slightly unfinished than go over the top.
If after a few months I'm still not quite pleased with a painting I usually paint over it, it gives me great satisfaction to eradicate my failings and have another go at a completely different subject. Sometimes the previous painting acts as an underpainting and adds some impossible-to-plan interest to the new work. Quite a few of the paintings I have already posted on this blog have faced this end, even the one of the close up of my eye in the blog entitled A Painting of a Friend's Kid, which I turned into a much better painting of Tatiana at the Bathroom Door, which I have yet to include in a post.
I have read that other artists leave their paintings a while to assess with more objectivity the result of their labours. I would never touch a painting that I am already pleased with though, I am not confident enough yet that I wouldn't mess it up. If I'm just going to paint over it though then what is there to lose, just a little more time and a bit more paint.