Do you ever have those times when nothing seems to be working out? I’m in that phase now!
I’m developing a new body of work, and I thought the first two paintings in the series turned out quite nice. Not perfect, but a good start.
“Magnetic North,” 30 x 30 inches, iron oxide and repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas
“Biosphere,” 30 x 40 inches, iron oxide, graphite and repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas
Maybe it was beginner’s luck. Since then everything looks awful, and I can’t seem to bring them around and make them look OK. Here are my two most recent disappointments.
Painting in progress, 30 x 30 inches, iron oxide, graphite and repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas
Painting in progress, 30 x 48 inches, iron oxide and repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas
They’re not similar, but they have a similar problem — not enough contrast. In the first painting it’s the overall contrast — everything is an even gray. It’s because the painting wasn’t working out, and I decided to see what would happen if I put a thin layer of gray paint over the whole thing. Not such a good idea, but then you never know until you try it.
In the second painting it’s a problem of not enough contrast between the two large circles on the sides and the background. Also, the two large circles are too busy, but if I bring them down and make them less busy, it’s going to be a problem of not enough interest.
There’s often a large learning curve when developing new work. You see the finished paintings, and they look fabulous, but what you don’t see is the many rejects that led up to those few good ones.
Onward! I haven’t given up, but I’m definitely in the throes of frustration. I may have to set this work aside and focus on something else for a while. Sometimes it helps to put it away and then come back to it later with fresh eyes.
Leave a comment and let me know what you’ve been struggling with lately.