Welcome to my  blog: Introspection!

As much time in my studio is spent on thinking about and looking at art as there is on painting. Here I'll write about some of the things that pass my mind during those hours, or the inspiration that makes me grab the brush .

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Friday, November 30, 2007

The first will be the last....or when to stop painting

Finally it's done! This was actually the first painting I started after visiting the Kickapoo Valley, but it became the last one to finish. As I wrote in an earlier blog entry, this one has spent a lot of time sitting close by, in the corner of my eye while I'm at work, just to see if it will stand the test.
This was one of those paintings that immediately had a strong presence, in just the first layer of color I put on over the colored ground.As the first layer dried, I started the two other paintings but somehow this one was so strong already that I became reluctant to work on it further. There is this strange thing that sometimes happens, I could see myself that the painting looked great but because it was just the set-up in my opinion, I had trouble in accepting that it might be really done.
And there is also the experience built up over many years of painting, that even though a painting may look great from it's first sketchy set-up, it will look even greater after it's been worked on for many more hours.
This pictures very well what process is going on between the painter and the painting, you start out with an idea and after that the idea/painting get's a life of its own and an ongoing conversation starts between the painter and the painting. Do I stick with what I had in mind or am I going with the unexpected possibilities that are being offered by the painting?
Often I feel the dilemma of calling a painting finished when in my eyes it's just the beginning versus working on. There are pro's and con's for each choice. First set-ups are usually beautiful in all their spontaneity, focused on the big picture instead of the details. But sometimes they are also too representational for what I'm after, which is a more distilled/abstracted view of the landscape.
Famously, what looks great at the start often gets lost in the process of adding more layers, but many years of painting also taught me that almost always something better comes out. Adding more layers makes the colors richer, as I work in very thin, almost glazing layers of oil colors, and colors from the underlying parts shine through the top layer, giving the painting a deep glow of color as well as movement. The con on this can be a sometimes too polished look, but that is easily undone by adding some more glazes and using a palette knife and a rag to scrape and rub off paint.
Anyway, this time I decided to go with the first one, I did not add too much more to it, just cleaned up some rough parts in the sky and added some more light in the foreground.

Kickapoo valley #1, 30x40 oil/canvas captures a mid-summer day in late afternoon where clouds provide a dramatic light effect.


CMC said...

Good gosh....I could have written this myself as process.
Great piece, Marina.

Marina Broere said...

Thank you, Cheryl!

Rebecca Crowell said...

It's really a beautiful painting, the composition is compelling. It occurs to me, that over time we do get better at what we do...and so, now and then you hit it just right with the first layer of paint. In that case, the one-step painting, which might seem "too easy" is actually very hard-earned!