Thursday, September 8, 2016

Awkward Stages of Paintings

I feel a bit scattered in the studio lately, which is not unusual for me in general, but especially when I am between workshops.  Still, I feel it's important to go there and do something, even if it is just playing around or wrecking a few works in progress.  I have been futzing with these "train wrecks" on and off for a while, taking the opportunity to see how much contrast and variety I can get, usually at the expense of any kind of unity or wholeness.  The benefit is that they surprise me.  I intentionally go into awkward and unknown territory.

Whether any of them become finished pieces or not (and some do!), they all go through really awkward, even ugly, stages.  So I thought I would share a few of those awkward stages with you.  I think most paintings (of mine, anyway) go though awkward stages, like adolescents.  So these are my thirteen-year-old girls, or fourteen-year-old boys of paintings.  They are all 19"x25" on paper:






One thing that works for me about the paintings being "ugly" at this stage, or awkward, is that they compel me to DO something.  I am not afraid to "wreck" them, because they are so obviously in need of major renovation.  It is freeing.

15 comments:

  1. I am a fan.
    Great analogy of awkward & teenagers, but so true.

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  2. As always, a much appreciated post. I have a question: when you use the crayons, do you use a fixative over them to keep them from running? Just a coat of medium/varnish? Thanks.

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  3. So much to love!! Even teenagers have wisdom. ...And these are beautiful as is.

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  4. Thanks for sharing these, Jane. Very interesting to see the different stages of thought and development.

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  5. Thank you ! It's wonderful to see these ,and know everyone goes through this !

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  6. Love that you showed the awkward process parts. I'm new to painting but I'm a metal worker in jewellery and always seem to hit a stage of "this looks like shit". I trust that eventually it does emerge as something I'm pleased with and try to keep that in mind when I'm painting.

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  7. Your teenagers would be my adults. That said, they don't have the usual vibrancy of you normal work.

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  8. Interesting post, Jane. I need to remember this when my works inevitably reach the awkward stage, and try not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

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  9. Thanks for sharing Jane since every painting I do goes through an awkward phase. Sometimes I think I'm finished and really happy with a painting and after awhile ( days, weeks, years) I'll look at it and think "ewwweee" What was I thinking. Kind of like a good relationship gone wrong. Does that happen to you too?

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  10. Thanks for sharing Jane since every painting I do goes through an awkward phase. Sometimes I think I'm finished and really happy with a painting and after awhile ( days, weeks, years) I'll look at it and think "ewwweee" What was I thinking. Kind of like a good relationship gone wrong. Does that happen to you too?

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  11. I have the same experience of being in that state of feeling awkward and unable to move forward. I have not been able to go back to the paintings to rework it. Your bravery and tenacity to go back and DO SOMETHING to continue the painting is commendable. Thanks for sharing your process, Jane. :-)

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  12. Thanks Jane. Awkwardness in my paintings too.

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  13. jeez, they look pretty great to me. am i missing something?

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  14. i too think they're great as is.

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