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Midsummer Regrouping

August 13, 2015

Something new is slowly percolating. I don’t know whether to just sit back and wait for more signs of forward movement, or to go rushing into the studio and do things with my hands until I figure out what’s going on. But there is a kind of excitement and anticipation of a shift in my art making. It’s starting to keep me awake at night.

I don’t want to bore you, but I need to explain a little bit about how this has all come about. After all, if you’re reading this, you are probably an artist and can relate to it all. So here goes.

For several years, I have been working along two tracks — one in collage . . .

New Collages 1

and the other in painting.

Panels 04_11_13

The painting side has mostly been very predictable, making pieces for a specific gallery. These paintings are unique and each stands on its own, but they work well together because of the uniformity of size and shape. So far, so good.

The collage half of it is fulfilling, because it involves instant gratification. It even gives me new perspectives and insights about painting. Collage is a great place to start the creative juices flowing.

But a third “way” is intruding into my thoughts. Larger scale paintings have been fewer and farther between, and the existing ones in my studio have felt like a burden due to the physical space that they occupy in my life. I have come so close (yes, that close) to destroying a number of them, but haven’t. They have no homes, and no one has stepped up to adopt them. So there they sit. These are just a few of them.

Studio Easel Paintings

So I think this is what’s happening: I feel the familiar urge to paint large again. If you’ve been with me for a long time, you’ve heard this before. A possible solution to this is to paint over some of my least favorite big paintings. I’ve already collected them in their own special corner for possible re-purposing. There is absolutely no need to buy new canvases. And in the end, it’s just for me anyway. I have no plans to take that show on the road. There is something very freeing in that.

That is the what. Here is the why . . .

I have declared this the last summer of my big garden. Just saying that out loud has opened up all kinds of new possibilities. Reclaimed time for new directions in art!

16 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2015 10:42 pm

    There is something so freeing when painting on big canvases. I know how you feel. It’s hard for me to paint over my works, but it’s also a way of letting go. I know that sounds odd, does that make any sense? Anyway, thanks for sharing with us.

  2. August 14, 2015 8:52 am

    I paint over canvases all the time. My philosophy is….”doesn’t stand the test of time and don’t love it any more so just redo it…..I can’t do the marketing required for the world to discover me and so I just try to get better and better at this “painting gig.”

    • August 14, 2015 12:13 pm

      Good philosophy, Karin Lynn. I have no problem painting over a painting. I think I just needed that spark of inspiration, which is returning a little bit now.

  3. patqu permalink
    August 14, 2015 10:19 am

    I think you should go for it.!! As for the garden, sometimes our priorities change, energy drains, or interests wane. It’s ok to let it go or reduce your output. 🙂

    • August 14, 2015 12:15 pm

      Thanks, Pat. I think you’re right about priorities. The garden has been wonderful fun, but a definite energy drain lately. I proved I could do it. Now time to see what I can prove in the studio!

  4. August 14, 2015 3:45 pm

    I paint over canvases all the time. I think it adds depth and texture just like collage does. Also I would like to thank you for telling about Art O Mat as I have sold there for years now.

    • August 15, 2015 5:41 am

      Ms. Kenny Goering – I love to paint over canvases, and I too love the effects from the ghosts of previous painting on them. Glad you mentioned collage. I haven’t yet included any collage in my large scale canvases, but that’s one thing I want to experiment with. Wow – glad Art-O-Mat is working for you!

  5. Sandra Kennedy permalink
    August 14, 2015 4:19 pm

    And I have just bought an art magazine with a whole feature about painting over unfavourite works! I hope it works well for you.

    • August 14, 2015 5:32 pm

      Sandra, this comment came through fine! I might have inadvertently missed your other one. I’m going to go look right now. Thanks for being here, and for your valued feedback. So sorry for the comments problem.

  6. Patricia permalink
    August 15, 2015 10:00 am

    Starting up on the Big Canvas! It’s exciting and challenging to face it there, waiting for you. The paint over is great, you already have a base coat down. I’m looking forward to your new creations, Martha. From big garden to big painting, how satisfying is that!

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