Monday, May 18, 2009

The Power of the Artist

work still in progress ...
18 x 24 • acrylic on Gessobord


So I hope none of you who have been following the progress of this piece had grown too terribly attached to the handles on the vase.

Because – and being the sharp, observant bunch that you are, you more than likely already noticed this – they’re gone.

After my morning painting session I was chatting with my husband over lunch about how I didn’t really care for “those handles on that green vase in my painting,” and he said, “Hey, you’re the artist. Get rid of ’em.”

I said, “Hmmmm.” And I thought about it all the rest of the way through lunch, and then I came back up to my easel and studied the painting for about two minutes and thought, OK, they’re outta there!

Here’s what I did.

These blue handles just weren’t adding anything, so I handed them their walking papers.

First, with a mixture of black and caput mortuum violet, I drew where the left side of the vase would be if the handle was gone. Drawing this line felt a little like making graffiti on a public sign or something. But I got over it.

All I had to do on the right side of the vase was to paint out the handle.

At this stage I noticed the shape of the left side of the vase was a little out of whack; in the first picture at the top of this post you can see that I fixed it so that the vase would look more symmetrical. And I left a lost edge where the highlight on the edge of the vase was the same brightness as the light through the window. And I started adding detail to the empty tin container on the right.

So the title of this post doesn’t refer to anything really deep or philosophical. Just that as artists, we can change our composition at any stage. If something’s not working, paint it out. If something’s missing, paint it in!

If only real life were that easy! :)


Rose Welty said...

No, I wasn't attached to the handles...but yes, I am growing attached to this painting! It is just lovely Karen...

Kerri Settle said...

You know, I didn't really notice the handles before but it does look a lot more solid without them and draws my eye up the vase and to the flowers. I think you made a great decision, and I've enjoyed seeing your progression on it!

Sydney Harper said...

I like it much better without the handles. It's turning into a beautiful painting. Sometimes I forget that as an artist, I can change anything I want.