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Can This Painting Be Saved?

August 3, 2010

I don’t know. You tell me. You can scroll down and look at this painting from yesterday’s post and then compare that to what’s going on with it today. If you’re reading for the first time, I decided to haul it out and work on it again after more than a year of looking at it sitting around the studio.

Moving On with Today’s Session

Remember, these paints are slow drying, so if you want to stop me before I hurt myself or the painting, please speak up! They can be scrubbed off any time within the next couple of hours.

Here are some pictures of what I’ve done today.

Looking at the painting from the opposite side of the table, I’ve added squiggles of Golden Acrylic Glazes, which are slow drying and give me plenty of time to work. I’ve chosen Yellow Ochre, Emerald Green, what’s left of my Violet Earth, and some Iron Oxide.

Then I blended these with a paper towel, distributing them around the canvas.

Then more squiggles . . .

. . . and more wiping.

I decided to use one of my mat board squeegees to knock the glaze colors off the tops of the texture and to blend them still more. My goal is to unify the painting more.

Spraying with water so the paints can blend some more and possibly separate a little bit, plus this helps to bring out the texture more.

I like the subtle color variations in some of the passages and also am pleased the texture still comes through.

Pardon the glare, but I took it out in the sun to shoot this final picture so you can see how all the interference colors still show through the new colors that were added today.

These changes aren’t really drastic ones. I want to take my time deciding what to do next.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2010 3:15 pm

    ha ha…. I love the right dark side before you did anything else…

  2. August 3, 2010 3:21 pm

    Oops. Maybe I better get out the scrub brush!

  3. August 3, 2010 3:42 pm

    I love the gestural markings over the lighter side just as they are in the top image. I don’t mind the darker side but it is a little overpowering to me.

    • August 3, 2010 6:03 pm

      Thank you Mary. I love gestural marks, but haven’t figured out how to make them work with this particular painting. Maybe because there’s so much texture that it gets in the way of my imagination. Anyway, more to come, because I’ve worked on it more this evening.

  4. Nancy permalink
    August 3, 2010 3:52 pm

    from my pov Martha, i think it is really close. spraying with water is always good – and letting it dry – maybe in the sun? what you have done with it is v. appealing to me. what about a bit of reveal, combing through the dark side just one more time?

    • August 3, 2010 6:07 pm

      Nancy, that is pretty much where I’m heading with it. Something happened later today that I like. Maybe not finished yet, but I’ll post a new pic tomorrow.

  5. August 3, 2010 5:50 pm

    It is a lot more subtle, indeed; but it has lost a good deal of contrast which might be more enhanced again, don’t you think?

    • August 3, 2010 6:09 pm

      Yes, Eva. And I agree with you that it needs to find its way back to more contrast. Too much all over color. After all these pictures went up, and before it was completely dry, I hosed it with a strong stream of water. Then scrubbed. I didn’t want to lose the value range. Picture updates tomorrow.

  6. donna baek permalink
    August 3, 2010 6:07 pm

    dear martha,

    when you say you have some golden acrylic glazes do you mean you have bottles of fluid acrylics that you’ve pre- mixed with glazing medium?

    i’m just starting to use glazes and am intersted in your process.
    BTW,re: the images showing the steps of progress with the changes to your stuck painting.. i really liked the first one in which the squiggles were not blended in yet. i thought ” that was a clever solution to uniting the disparate halves. ” i didn’t realize you were going to smear it in.

    donna baek in snohomish

    • August 3, 2010 6:14 pm

      Donna, those glazes are in bottles already mixed, and sold as Golden Glazes. I bought a whole range of them once in large sizes, and have used them forever. Don’t know if I’d buy them again, as they are pricey. One could certainly mix fluid acrylics into slow-drying mediums.

      You and Mary both say you like the squiggles. I actually liked them too, but didn’t want to leave them. There’s a certain “outcome” that I’m hoping for, but I don’t always get from here to there.

      This is just me having fun, and having everybody look over my shoulder. Who knows what’s going to become of this canvas!

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