|24"w x 30"h - So here it is now..I'm digging it, but, then again, I just finished it!|
|I thought this was pretty great and it isn't too bad, |
but why settle for "not too bad"?
I think as artists, our objectivity about our own work comes after a certain amount of time has passed. I also believe it is hard to spend an entire day painting and admit to ourselves "Boy...I produced a whole lot of mediocre work today that I will most likely paint over in three years!" I sometimes tell my students that every failure they create should really just be considered "brush mileage". And the more you paint the better you will get, which means that there are a lot of canvases out there that are "learning" experiences. Now, even though I know this and teach this idea it is still hard to accept that I can spend a day on "brush mileage". We all want our paintings to turn out in every aspect while we are working on them.
But, after some time has passed, personally, I can look upon my work with fresh eyes, and realize that it is just merely "pleasant", "okay" or "not bad". I have spent a lifetime dedicating myself to unraveling the mysteries of drawing and painting. My aspirations are for something a bit higher than "Oh, isn't that nice?" This may be the difference between the hobbyist painter and the artist. Or it could indicate that I am neurotic about painting.
So, I am uploading my first painting here. I was very pleased with it. I liked my composition and the cutting of his face where I did, very non traditional compositional idea for me. I also tried taking the shadow down the middle of his face rather than off to one side, so even that was a little more tricky. To be honest, I was quite pleased with this when I had finished it up. I had put this in the stack of "Finished" not in the "Paint Over Someday" stack. It was only when I found myself in my studio looking at it again I realized that it was really sort of blah. The brushwork is not confident (mostly because I am not used to painting faces that large so the brushwork is more muddy). And I didn't paint the eyelids convincingly so they look more like walnuts than flesh and then the more I looked at this I thought "Why on earth did I think this was so great?"
So...I set it on the easel and started painting the portrait of the man looking up (again). He is the same man from the first MRI painting. Naturally, I am quite pleased with it, which only serves my first argument of we are always closest to the latest work that we have completed. Ask me next month about this painting and I might just gasp, "EGAD! Quick get the gesso!"