process – on the dangers of overpainting

or, how do you know when to stop? I like the life in the first two. It feels like I start to paint the life out in the next two. It is easy to overwork the painting I am focused on if I don’t have another that I can turn away to. That gives me a space where things can fall into place, so that when I return to the first painting I have a fresh eye. I also have to admit to a prejudice that doesn’t allow me to see charcoal and pastels on canvas as finished work, so sometimes in translating the work into a painting using, oils or acrylics, I lose the very things I liked.





This entry was posted in 'tis a gift to be simple, art, journal, overpainting, overworking, painting, Uncategorized, visual journal, works in progress. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to process – on the dangers of overpainting

  1. Prester John says:

    Very interesting. To me, it looks like if you could clone any of the first three, or especially the first two, you could take it in completely different directions.

    Knowing when to stop is the secret to just about everything I suppose. A salesman has to know when to shut up. Showboat musicians who don’t understand that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts can’t be considered “good players”, even if they are technically sound. Novelist need to “murder their darlings”. I suspect the gift of knowing when to stop is every bit as important as the ability to get started.

    Tomorrow’s Thursday.


  2. ozymandiaz says:

    I never know when I painted. I would either leave it short with people asking when I was going to finish it or I just kept going and going and going till I ran out of paint


  3. amuirin says:

    I see what you’re saying. I really like number 2, as well, but there’s still life in the last image. Still magic. Maybe, also, being so close to the subject so long, it’s like seeing your own face in the mirror so many times. Pretty soon you can only see the bits and parts that bother you.


  4. jo says:

    My vote’s for three because teal, peacocks blues, they wow me……..but I don’t think you overpaint anything. It’s like poems, how do you know when one’s done?


  5. jo says:

    Mmm, just came back to say that yes, number two is luminous, and sort of shimmers, has a wonderful energy but I still say three is wonderful.


  6. rick mobbs says:

    Prester John, knowing when to stop has always been a problem.

    Oz. I so relate. Sometimes I want to break my brushes.

    amuirin, The painting has become a time eater. It could go on and on. I’m going to cover it with another canvas and start something new. You’re right, let it sit. I’m too close.

    jo, knowing when to stop, whento call a thing done, when to let go, when to move on… I like the blues, too.


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