You've already seen this painting. I shared it two weeks ago.
But did you know that you also saw it back in 2013?
Yep, back in 2013 I shared this finished painting:
I expressed my ambivalent feelings about the painting when I posted it. It was one of those painting that never got hung up on my walls because I just didn't love it. It sat in a pile of finished but unloved paintings for the last four years. Then I decided to give it a makeover.
I flipped the old version of the painting upside down in the side-by-side comparison above so that you can more easily see the old painting under the new one. Pretty amazing transformation, right?
Some lessons I'm taking away from this experience:
- Time is an important tool. Four years is, perhaps, an absurd amount of time to work on a painting. But, by having that gap I was able to see past my original intentions and bring something totally new out of the painting.
- No work is wasted. I still remember posting an art journaling video on YouTube and receiving comments asking why I had done certain things if I was just going to cover them up. At the time I tried to explain that I don't pre-plan stuff, so sometimes things get covered up as they evolve. The more experience I gain with painting, the more I'm convinced that these layers make the work look richer. The painting evolves as my ideas ping off each other and change direction.
- Being a hoarder is a good thing. #jokingnotjoking Part of the reason that it's difficult to part with things is because, as makers, we do use so many of them! Eventually. I'm certainly glad that I didn't trash this canvas.
- Don't make a snap decision. I know some people say to gesso over things you don't like, but I have found that giving art time to breathe often allows me to see the possibilities. More than once I've been caught covering something up that I should have left alone because it was better the next day or the next week. I guess this is kind of a repeat of bullet #1. But I think it's worth repeating. It's so easy to look at something you've created and say, "Ugh. I don't like it." Perhaps you'll change your mind tomorrow? Perhaps the next day a new idea will inspire you? I think getting frustrated with art is akin to getting mad in an argument. Sometimes it's good to walk away and maintain a cool head, you know?
What are your thoughts on this transformation?
Thanks for stopping by!