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This Painting Won’t Leave Me Alone

August 2, 2010

Sometimes a painting just needs to be completely painted over or even tossed. Other times a painting may keep going through changes and more changes. And even then – at least in my world — it might still end up painted over or tossed. The ones in the picture above are in various stages of being reworked.

This painting has sat around in my studio for longer than I am willing to say. It’s been through several incarnations already. The last time I worked on it I declared it finished. I had added a lot of texture to the original, created a division in the space, and then added some interference colors for sheen. But something about it still just doesn’t feel quite complete. I think it has good basic textures and colors, but seems a little boring, at least to me.

So today I’m beginning again. I’ve wet sanded the tops of the texture to try and bring it out more. Tomorrow I’ll look at it some more and try to decide what’s next.

Here are some detail shots before and after the texture was sanded:

Before Sanding

After Sanding (the overall color change is because of different lighting.)

Before Sanding

After Sanding

This was just a little bit of sanding to add interest. Not much at all. I used a sanding block from the paint store, the type that is soft and spongy inside.

Now I’ll keep looking at it to decide what I should do next. Of course, I could paint over it with gesso and start over with just the texture, which would be interesting. But I actually like the existing colors.

Do you have an artwork that keeps coming back to haunt you?

16 Comments leave one →
  1. donna baek permalink
    August 2, 2010 7:20 pm

    dear martha,

    this post follows up nicely with my question of what to do wit these ” unresolved” pieces? i have almost a string of 5 haunting me right now, hahaha. anyway, what feels unreloved to me about this one is that the 2 halves are 2 different tonally. they seem like they are from 2 different paintings. when you cropped out the orangish section, it stood alone as a painting as would the green half. they just aren’t related enough.

    • August 2, 2010 7:38 pm

      Maybe so, Donna. You might be onto something. I added the color division on purpose, but it might be the thing that is haunting me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Sherrill Pearson permalink
    August 2, 2010 9:24 pm

    Okay girls,

    I think you both don’t know what you’re talking about. Hahaha… I love the very first one at the top!

    The colors, the contrast between the two sides and the small black mark on the right balance it. Anyway, I like it – the original. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • August 2, 2010 10:17 pm

      Sherrill, thanks for your input. Glad you like it as is! Remains to be seen where it’s headed.

  3. Sandra permalink
    August 2, 2010 9:34 pm

    I love your second painting after the sanding, please don’t lose those wonderful colours. I can see a terraced landscape with red earth, rocks, trees, little paths, can you build on that rather than losing it all? I’ll hurry up and get it on my computer in case it vanishes!
    Have just tossed one of mine and about to do the same to another, so know how you feel. I find that there comes a point in the reworking where nothing is going to do it and one may as well stop wasting paint!

    • August 2, 2010 10:18 pm

      Thanks Sandra. I’m hoping to keep the good parts of it. But either way, you’ll have it saved. I really don’t have any qualms about giving up on a painting. There are way too many more to do!

  4. August 2, 2010 9:40 pm

    I don’t want to interfere with your process, martha, but before I read Donna’s comment, I was thinking the same. Your detail shot is YUMMY. The two “moods” are just not liking each other. Like a really bad marriage, one has to change or leave.
    I’m loving the sanded textures; how do you like them?

    • August 2, 2010 10:20 pm

      I like the sanded textures too, DJ. This is one of those paintings that have good parts but maybe need to be integrated a little more.

  5. Amy permalink
    August 2, 2010 10:03 pm

    I love your page. I clicked a link on another site, and here I am. I really like your work, and will be back to visit often.

  6. August 3, 2010 12:00 am

    “Do you have an artwork that keeps coming back to haunt you?”

    Oh boy, do I. Good luck with this one. ๐Ÿ˜€

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