I’ve always found two things really difficult when working on a studio painting. The first is like many artists, I find it hard to decide when a painting is finished. It’s so easy to overwork a painting and then wish I’d put my brushes down ten minutes earlier. I find towards the end of a painting I become so engrossed in the final touches and details that I can easily get carried away with these small marks without stopping to take in the effect it is having on the painting as a whole.
One thing I now do to try to avoid this happening is when I feel a painting is getting to the last stages I turn it around to face the wall for a few days. Then when I turn it back again I can view it afresh. Sometimes I’ll find that when I look at it again I’m quite happy with it as it is and feel it is finished, other times I’ll see an area that I’d like to do a little more work to.
Another thing I also do at this stage is to look at the painting in a mirror or upside down, this will often show up an area that’s not quite right.
I love that my artistic journey isn’t static but that it is always changing. My interests and inspirations are different to those of last year and they in turn are different to what they were the year before that. When I look back at my earlier work, I can see how my style has gradually altered over the years. In the past I used to enjoy painting in quite a detailed way whereas now I’m generally drawn to paint in a much looser more expressive style.
However, despite my changing style I’ve always had a constant way of working. I’ve painted my studio paintings based upon scenes or sketches I’ve produced when out and about or sometimes from photographs and then once the painting is finished, I think of a title. This is often part of the process that I find difficult! Sometimes a title will be obvious straight away and other times it takes me some time to come up with one. After always following the same routine of having my initial inspiration, completing the painting, and then finally adding a title, I now find I’m really excited to suddenly want to work in a completely new way!
I’m not really sure why after working in the same way for so long that I’ve had this sudden change of direction, but I have to say I’m really excited about it.
Trust your own instinct.
Your mistakes might as well be your own,
instead of someone else’s.Billy Wildler
Following a sketch I did a couple of weeks ago in my sketchbook that I wanted to give it title to, I found that rather than struggling to think of a title I had lots of title ideas that just kept flowing and tumbling out!
I find myself now wanting to produce paintings based on the feelings and emotions a title evokes in me rather than the other way around. As I mentioned earlier, my studio paintings until now have always been based upon either a sketch or photograph of a particular place. For example, one of my seascape paintings will have been inspired and based upon a certain stretch of coastline or a woodland painting will have been inspired by a particular area of woodland. Whereas now I feel inspired to create paintings based upon my feelings, experiences and memories rather than on a study from a specific time or place.
I wonder if having been at home now for quite a few months due to the current situation is why I’m inspired by previous memories and experiences and I don’t know whether this will be a permanent change in the way that I like to work or whether this is just a brief stage in my artistic journey.
But whatever the reason for it and for however long it lasts, at the moment I’m incredibly excited about it.
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