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Final Painting with Before and After Pictures

August 5, 2010

This is the final version of the painting I’ve been working on. Photographed out in the mid-morning light, it shows the colors perfectly on my screen. Shown below are the “before” and “after” versions.

Before – An acceptable painting, but just not consistent with my current work.

After – Less glitz, more grunge. Now I recognize the artist!
“Echoes 22″ – Acrylic on Gallery Wrap Canvas, 16 x 20 x 1.5”


The paintings that you see below are in my studio and I always look at them for clues for what I want to do with my surfaces, colors and textures. In the end, these were the most help in finishing this painting. I am happy with it now. I now feel that it fits in nicely with my most recent work.

And the best part is that even though it’s on canvas, I can now see how I might proceed with more canvases and have them fit with the panels. They need to be able to hang together as a future show. I actually have my eye on two canvases that I want to paint over.

“Side Streets” – Triptych
Mixed Media on Cradled Panels, Each Panel 36 x 12 x 2″

I want to thank everyone for your encouragement, nudges, and advice with this little project. You’ve helped more than you know.

“Echoes 22”
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14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2010 6:32 pm

    Strange how it’s so easy to get stuck in a stage …
    there may be something that we really like that’s holding us back,
    or there may be something a little “off” that we can’t quite see…
    you’d think we’d learn after a painting for years, but it still happens.
    I just went through a similar experience.
    After dreadfully messing up one area of a painting I liked late one night, I tried to fix it, but got disgusted and walked away, then came back the next day and easily figured out how to transform it into something I really love.
    There’s nothing like art…

  2. August 5, 2010 8:38 pm

    DJ everything you say is so true! I actually love “messing up.” It kicks me out of my usual patterns and allows surprises to come in.

    I so agree that there is NO-thing like art!!

  3. Terry permalink
    August 5, 2010 9:42 pm

    Hi Martha. I’m so glad you’ve arrived at your happy ending with this piece. It’s amazing what a little paint,gel, and a few days of frustrtaion can amount to, isn’t it! I’m currently reworking a piece myself and starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel as of today. Yippee!!! By the way, I love the “Side Streets” triptych.

  4. August 6, 2010 9:39 am

    It’s a wonderful feeling to be satisfied with the completion of an artwork! This is a really strong piece. I keep going back to admire it.
    I’m interested in why you went with stretched canvas for this one. (Apologies for being behind on one of my favorite art blogs. I’ve been quite busy moving…) Anyway, I’m delighted and curious when an artist changes support or medium- because I’ve done it many times myself, and there can be a multitude of reasons!
    Sorry I’ve rambled…Clearly I need more coffee, hah!

    • August 6, 2010 9:48 am

      Stephanie, I just started playing around with an old painting that I didn’t really love enough. So it just happened that it was on canvas. I still prefer the panels, hands down! I’m even thinking about just plain wood some time in the future. I love the rigidity of wood and/or panels.

      Painting supports are funny aren’t they? They transmit subtle personalities and behaviors of their own, and for me they seem to dictate the process.

      Good luck with your move!

  5. pat q permalink
    August 6, 2010 5:27 pm

    love love the “new” painting. The addition of the highlight on the side is a perfect touch to link this painting with your others you show. I learn a lot by watching your efforts. You are so very talented and I thank you for sharing your processes and thoughts, even the comments help in our art pursuits.
    I have much to learn about abstract art but am willing to try hard. Is there a favorite book you have read on the subject? or how did you start. I used to do realistic oil paintings, now I do altered arts, childrens stories (unpublished), collage and attempts at abstract acrylic art.
    Think I am rambling, please excuse this missive. Thanks for lending an ear.. or any thoughts or encouragements. Patq

    • August 7, 2010 10:40 pm

      Pat, I’m glad you enjoy following along with some of these adventures! I too really do enjoy the comments a lot. They give me lots to think about.

      You’re not rambling at all! In answer to your question about abstract art, I started at a very young age reading everything I could about what was going on in contemporary art, and also a lot about the abstract expressionists of the late fifties and sixties. I also attended a lot of university art classes, though I never wanted to get a degree in art. I just wanted to keep learning as much as possible.

      It’s a process of osmosis. The very best way to grow as an artist is to attend as many good classes and workshops as possible and avail yourself of the valuable interaction and synergy that happens when artists are creating together. That’s the most exciting thing.

  6. August 6, 2010 9:44 am

    Sure, DC Guide – thanks!

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