Monday, October 1, 2012

risk taking and reworking

finished pastel #1
If you want to find a specialness in your work you have to search and be willing to take risks. Just doing what you know will never take you down that new exciting road.   Reworking failed works is a great way to open up the world of risk-taking.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

When reworking, you know it didn't work so all feelings of "preciousness" are gone and you are free to experiment. In addition the painting scene is no longer there to haunt you and make are free!
plein air piece to be reworked #1

The first thing I noticed when remaking this painting is that beastly green did not work at all. Yes, it is what I thought I saw (unlikely-not enough influence from the sky), but in the painting it fought the colors of the sky. That was the first thing to go. Next, although the sky colors were accurate they did not make a good design. And while I love that little pond and it's small line of shrubbery, it too did not work.
To rework a pastel you must first remove some on the pastel. (Use a brush, a vacumm or a piece of masking tape- depending on how much pastel you want to remove.)
Next, analyze your composition and color scheme. In the top painting I added a middle ground, rather than just two layers of space. And made a kind of envelope of the sky to create a feeling of "safety in the world."

finished pastel, #2
plein air piece to be reworked#2
Here is the second rework. Sometimes a plein air piece is just a study of sky and weather, as this one was. I don't know what I was thinking when I made the strip of land to be straight across. Sometimes I become fascinated with the sky and forget all sense. (Obviously you can see I skipped the notan.)
Here, I first altered the land mass and that was soothing. Next I just played with the upper sky to see what would happen if I darkened it. It was simply an experiment.

Art is about taking risks and experimenting. Why do the same thing over and over again just because you can? There is no excitement in copying a photo,  it's only technical skill and when was technical skill exciting? Push yourself, make mistakes, take risks. Only then will you find something new.

PS On Thursday there will be a special post...see you then!


Donna T said...

Thanks so much for this post! It's really helpful to see why and how you rework a painting. It's so easy to toss unsuccessful plein airs but sometimes they contain useful information, even if it's just the spark of a good idea.

Micros said...

Hi Loriann

How true.

Art and life is about having the courage in accepting our mistakes and moving forward. Not doing so, leaves us stagnant.

Risk + Courage = Evolvement

Excellent post!


Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Hi Loriann! Just last week I cleaned out hundreds of paintings from my studio flat files. Some of them are okay, many are missing the mark. Some are downright dreadful. I packed them in sacks and moved them to a different location. I can see now the value in pulling a few of them out and reworking them like you have done here. What is there to lose?

loriann signori said...

Hi Donna and Kvan,
Yes, yes, those failed paintings are opportunities! Relish their presence and experiment. Tap into your reserves!

Hi Micros,
I like that.... Risk+ Courage = Evolvement.
Great quote!