Thursday, 6 March 2008


I see it now. I’ve been struggling with the lady’s jaw line on Cloud Nine for what seems like an eternity. I had her face so that she looked like she was tilting her head, and then I made some alterations to her hair and jaw line and I lost it, and I couldn’t seem to get it back. But I see now that I have more to worry about than just her jaw line! It seems that as time goes on my eyes are opened more and more, and now I realise that there is a lot wrong with both of them! So now major alterations are underway!

What a strange process this is. It’s amazing how, as time goes on, your vision and perception changes. I see things now that I didn’t see before. What worries me is that in another months time my eyes will be opened even more, and then even more the month after that, and I could actually end up altering this piece for the rest of my life!

So my question is this: when is a piece finished? Surely it would be when you are happy with the outcome? (Which hasn’t happened totally with this piece yet) But what if you’re happy with a piece initially but then realise it’s wrong? Do you keep it as a reminder of your progress or try to correct it? Are you ashamed of early pieces?

I also have conflicting emotions about what is “right” and “wrong”. On one hand I want to learn how to paint accurately, but on the other hand I don’t believe that beautiful art always has to be “correct”. I want my paintings to be free and expressive, but I don’t know how to achieve that. I have a lot to learn.


JafaBrit's Art said...

Sometimes I have learned to let a painting be finished even though I am not happy with it. Sometimes a month later I will look at it with fresh eyes. Sometimes I still see it wasn't working and gesso the thing over and reuse the canvas OR sometimes I remember that what I see as a flaw others might not.

Undaunted said...

That's a good point Jafabrit - only the artist knows what it was supposed to look like!

But in the case of Cloud Nine, I feel that they were obvious flaws. I don't know why this piece is bugging me so much - in The Screams I'm aware that the person isn't really crouching in a natural position but I'm ok with that. Maybe I'm feeding off other peoples reactions? I have only ever had good feed back regarding The Screams, but with Cloud Nine people tend to say nothing!... so it comes back to what you said earlier Jafabrit - who cares if others don't like it?

Well, I've started the changes now, so I can't go back!