Wedding Bouquet (FIXED!)

Wedding Bouquet (Fixed), oil on panel, 10x8"

Wedding Bouquet (Fixed), oil on panel, 10×8″

Thank you to everyone who responded to my previous post and offered feedback about whether to try to fix the right-hand rose that was bugging me. I figured if everyone said leave it I would, but if others saw the problem too, I’d try again to fix it. They did, so I did, and now I can look at it without feeling frustrated.

To solve the problems with the rose, I turned the photo and the painting upside down and could immediately see I had the shape wrong. Then I converted the photo to gray-scale to check values. I reshaped and repainted the rose using grayed-down, paler colors. I touched up a few other spots in the painting (back top right flowers, some leaves and small changes to both left roses). I added a black border to simulate how it will be framed.

Now I think the focal point (the middle rose) stands out, and the minor right rose recedes. FYI, the reason these roses don’t look that rose-like is because although I started working from life, I could quickly see that the flowers were about to completely fall apart (it was several days after the wedding) so I took a photo of the almost over roses.

Below Left (AFTER): fixed final painting; Below Right (BEFORE): before adjustments and fixes.

Wedding Bouquet (Finished or Fix?)

Wedding Bouquet, oil on linen panel, 10x8"

Wedding Bouquet, oil on linen panel, 10×8″

I started this painting of my daughter-in-law’s wedding flowers soon after the wedding in January 2014 but wasn’t thrilled with the way it turned out so set it aside. I began reworking it again recently, and after several times reaching a point of saying, “Finished” and then working on it some more, I remembered the saying, “Art is never finished, only abandoned” and decided it was simply time to stop.

But there’s still one thing that bugs me in this painting: the pink rose on the right just feels too Barbie pink to me. Every time I look at the painting it irks me. But I’ve repainted it 5 times and perhaps because the photo I’m working from isn’t very good, especially of that rose, it keeps turning out the same. I may try one more time. What do you think? Leave it or try again? Or maybe find another photo of the set up with a different view of that rose and try again from that photo?

My challenge in painting is always how to maintain the freshness of my original inspiration, color choices and brush strokes while holding back my inner perfectionist who wants to keep noodling around forever. Another challenge with returning to an older painting is that the fresh flowers are long gone and only a so-so photo remains to work from. Likewise all my new fresh ideas about painting have to be set aside to work on something from the point of view of a year ago.

EDiM 8 and 9: Mirror Image (me in pitcher) and Shadow

EDiM 8 Mirror Image in Copper Pitcher, ink and watercolor, 7.5x 5 inches

EDiM 8 Mirror Image in Copper Pitcher, ink and watercolor, 7.5x 5 inches

This one was really fun to draw. It was a surprise to see that I was reflected twice, right-side-up and upside-down. I had to stack the pitcher on top of a box of kleenex on top of a box of rubber stamps.

EDiM 9 Mirror Image in Copper Pitcher, ink, watercolor, gouache, 7.5x5 in

EDiM 9 Mirror Image in Copper Pitcher, ink, watercolor, gouache, 7.5×5 in

I drew this in pencil sitting outdoors at a little round table in the sun.  I sketched in the shadow of the flower and painted everything with watercolor. By then the sun had moved and there were more shadows so I painted them in too. I didn’t like the way it messed up the composition so I brought the sketchbook into the studio and painted over table and extra shadows with gouache. It only partially hid the “mistake” but I decided I liked the way there’s a shadow of a shadow showing through.

I used rubber stamps for text on the page but got that wrong too (9, not 8) so just used the X stamp to cross out the 8. I love work that is fresh and just right on the first pass. This isn’t that, and shows a bit of the struggle. Sometimes that just makes things more interesting.

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