This is a new project I am starting, that will culminate in an exhibition at Black Swan Arts in the autumn.
This will be an exploration around the point at which a painting is finished. It is a problem that many artists battle with, particularly in mediums such as oil where one can carry on working the surface for weeks, months and even years. This decision is normally unseen, many artists don’t like to show work that is not finished, including me. This project to lay the process bare, goes against my natural instincts. Many factors can influence the decision to down brushes and call a work finished, but one of the major ones is the fear of losing what is already there. I would like to resist this urge and carry the painting on to a new stage. To throw away the bird in the hand in the hope of getting the two in the bush… I am hoping that by forcing myself onwards in this way I will learn more, that the painting will gain integrity though perseverance, and at the very least, build up lovely layers of thick paint. Of course it could all end in a big brown mess, but thats part of the challenge.
I will be posting pictures of the various stages as I go along, and inviting candid comments from anyone out there as to whether they think its finished, or whether it would benefit from more work.
Apart from this post which I’m sticking to the top as some form of explanation, the process will appear in reverse with the latest stage at the top – so to see it roughly chronologically you will need to scroll to the bottom first.
This is always a moment I savour, a lovely blank white canvas, full of potential. Of course some might say that it is already finished, the mind’s eye could fill in what could be, and maybe that imagined image might be the best stage, because it can be anything to anyone. But I can’t leave it there… even though I do love running my hand over its smooth taught surface. Its calling out for colour, the first marks are often the freest and most expressive and there is fun to be had…