Erika Allison's Artastic Blog

Breaking the rules… or not

Posts Tagged ‘study’

In the Works

Posted Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

I have several paintings in the works right now.  I have two that I started awhile back, but haven’t put the finishing touches on yet.  The problem seems to be that I don’t know just where I want to go with them yet.  I study them every time I go into the studio.  I rotate them so I can view them from all possible angles.  One of these times a solution will become clear to me… and I’ll proceed.

I also have two paintings that I started last Saturday at our First Annual Outdoor Paint-In.  I really like the starts I got on both.  I’m kind of amazed about that.  It’s a bit of a pain to haul all the supplies needed for oil painting to an outdoor location.  If I were a plein air painter I’d have a french easel and no complaints.  But, I’m a studio painter.  I like all the comforts of my studio.  And, I don’t really need to view subject matter since I’m an abstract painter.  Enough of that.  The camaraderie is worth the effort.  It’s interesting to see other artists at work.  And, it was fun seeing people trying to figure out what was going on!  At any rate,  I got two good starts.  And, this morning I worked on one of the paintings.  I still like it.  I’m not quite sure where I’m going with it.  But, that seems to be how I work.  For now, it’s time to leave it alone for awhile.


After first session of painting



After session 2 in the studio – on the easel

The second painting from last week is still waiting for me.  I could’ve gone right from where I left off on painting number one and started working on the second one.  But, sometimes it’s better to just concentrate on one until it’s finished.  There’s no rule of thumb on that.  It’s my call.  I think by not working on both today there’s a better chance of keeping them very individual.  Sometimes I get in a groove and what I do on one painting gets carried over to the next.  I don’t want to be an assembly line.  I want each painting to have it’s chance of shining on its own.


Painting 2, on the easel

So – this challenge is for another day.  There are plenty of possibilities, as always…

I woke up thinking about this painting I did at the end of 2009.  It has been titled and shown already.  But, I’m still thinking about it.  It’s not truly finished.  It’s missing something.  I think I realized that all along.  And, yet, for some reason, I showed it anyway.  Shame on me!

The painting, “Don’t Suck Me In”, is missing pizzaz, the final touch.  It needs that one more thing.  I remember thinking about it as I was “finishing” it.  I just never came up with what that one final touch should be.  There are so many options at this point in a painting.  That final touch could be a paintstroke, a mark of some kind, a found object…  The hard part is figuring out which option will be the coup de grace.  It’s a critical time in the process of making a piece of art.  Is that last touch the coup de grace or the disastrous mark that makes the work OVER worked?  It is critical that an artist knows when a work is done.

Many times I have made my final mark and been so pleased with myself.  Aha!  The perfect mark that adds just what was needed.  Without that mark, the painting just isn’t finished.  Then, it seems that I will forever remember that final touch that made a particular painting.  Maybe I even get a little too impressed with myself!

Well, I would like to find that perfect mark right about now!  I could use something to gloat over.  The truth is, I’m struggling with this one.  Like I said, I actually woke up thinking about this.  That’s a good start.  I  had the idea of what to do next.  And so….I headed into the studio right after getting the coffee brewing.  The idea I had come up with had many possibilities, as usual.  Now, it’s time to pick one and JUST DO IT!  And, so I did.  I did not have to change the title of the painting.  I have perhaps added some depth to the meaning.  We’ll see.

I’m still not certain that it’s finished.  I will keep it up on the easel and pop in and study it.  At some point I will decide that I’ve come up with a good finish…or not.

“Don’t Suck Me In”, 25″x31″x2″, is still in progress.  The painting posted is the “Before” version.  I never understood why artists sometimes dated their work to include more than one year.  I’d think – it took that long?!  Now, I get it.  I will have to add 2010 to the date on the back.  It says 2009.  So, now, it will read 2009/2010.  It didn’t really take me 2 years.  Well, I’m not done yet.  Who knows?

I will photograph the work and post my progress in another post.  Who knows how long this might go on?