Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Seeing a painting whole

Different people will give you varying viewpoints
on how to check a work for flaws. At art school
we were taught to draw and paint aerobically --
work up close, move back, take a good look, move
in. John Sargent apparently felt he'd
walked miles with each portrait -- and the evidence
is there -- the best of portraiture.

Here's a painting that I absolutely loved when I
was painting it in the studio. I don't have a decent
photo of it, so the straight lines are curved, forgive me.
But, looking at the photograph, is another great way
to see what still needs work.

I put this painting, The Poem, in a show in March,
and I felt proud of it. It's 4'high and 2' wide. I still
like the colour, mood, expression on the girl's face,
the feeling of mystery, and the dress. But I'd like to
refine certain elements.

One of my favorite teachers suffered from a
need to fix works when they were in an exhibition,
to such an extent that his watercolours
had little 4 inch squares on certain corners,
on top of the actual painting, in sections of the
painting he was still reworking. Rumours circulated
around the art school that he had frequently gone into
galleries, taken a painting down, removed the frame,
and begun reworking the watercolour on the spot.
That must have driven his dealers mad.

In my case, the urge to change a work is usually

Right now the reasonable thing to do is to go to
bed. In the morning I'll see everything in my
studio in a whole new light.

Have reflective night.

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Portrait Artist

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!