Monday, January 18, 2010

Not every painting works out...

Honestly it feels real good to chop up paintings. Among artists there are many schools of thought about less-than-successful paintings. Some hang onto every work no matter what, some see a glimmer of hope in even the least successful, some feel even failure is success. I definitely agree on those last two thoughts. If I hang onto older work it either represents something special from that time or I’m very emotionally invested in it...otherwise chop chop chop. I had one gallery a while ago that wouldn’t give me back the paintings that didn’t sell because she knew what I’d do to some of them and would beg me not to cut them up. I’d just smile. That being said I would never cut up a painting that had at least a gleam of interest somewhere in it but also feel it isn’t good to hang onto every piece one ever made. Oddly enough I feel a failed oil on canvas to be much less precious than anything on’s just cloth to me when it doesn’t work out and I can always get more canvas to stretch another. Paper, however, has a hold on me, so I gesso over the failure on paper and work it again. In Italy last year I visited a shop that makes hand made paper and I swooned. I bought all kinds of it and open it just to touch it, feel it’s softness, the weight of it but haven’t used it, just knowing I have this beautiful paper is satistying! So not every painting works out but as I write this and look at the picture I’m getting an interesting idea...stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I know what you mean! I learned it the hard way. Back in art school, I threw out a large braced board (4'x4') with the trash on the corner. It was hideous- really bad, someone took it. What a nightmare! I now shred all work that I don’t like. It’s very therapeutic.