Sunday, October 04, 2009

thinking outside the frame

In February I started painting a 20" x 24" landscape of a winter scene, but got bogged down and couldn't figure out how to finish it. I have been staring at it, then hiding it, then staring at it again for over seven months now. Last week, during my purge/reorg, I pulled it out again and resolved to resolve it. First I threw out two small landscapes that I painted at the same time and hated even more than this one. That positive action seemed to kick the gears into motion. I realized that there were parts of the painting I liked, particularly the handling of the paint in the lower left corner. How could I salvage just that part?

So I used my hands as a frame and moved around the painting, trying to find a more interesting composition within the rectangle. That's when I looked at a stack of unused cradled panels sitting on a shelf. Before I knew it I had decided to cut the best part of the painting into 8" x 8" pieces and rework it into a square, four-panelled painting.


Out came the x-acto knife. Cutting the canvas away from the stretcher bars was strangely satisfying after months of indecision.

Next I cut the square pieces to fit the panels.

Before attaching them with acrylic gel medium I painted the sides of the panels in the same dark green as the flat, forested background in the painting.

I put an isolation coat of gloss medium cut with water over the canvas and sides of each panel then finished with a gloss varnish, also diluted with water about 50-50.

I like the result a lot better than the original. Its strange birth hardly brings to mind the deep, spiritual landscape painter alone with her thoughts and easel in God's Country, creating works of great beauty with her blood, sweat and tears, but creativity works in strange ways sometimes. And now that I figured out how to resolve it: what do I do with it?!
deep cove winter left

13 Comments:

Blogger Ellen said...

a success! Hmmm, too many panels, some paintings i'm unsure of, I just may copy this idea.

4/10/09 2:10 PM  
Blogger Costescu said...

wow what a great idea! very brave & they look so great separated

4/10/09 10:25 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

That is SO cool! The finished effect is brilliant. And I like that creativity is a process that ebbs and flows, not only a sudden burst of inspiration and flawless execution (if you know what I mean).

5/10/09 3:48 AM  
Blogger secret agent woman said...

Tat's a factastic idea - funny how cutting it into piecs makes it look like that was your intention all along.

5/10/09 7:42 AM  
Blogger zIggI said...

I quite liked the original!
:)
Love your calendar.

5/10/09 8:08 AM  
Blogger Anil P said...

Almost a macro view the moment the whole is separated into parts that make it whole.

It looks striking nevertheless.

5/10/09 9:56 AM  
Blogger andrea pratt said...

Ellen: If you do, you must post. That's an order. (Please.)

Tracey: Certainly freshens them up in my mind!

Peter: I totally know what you mean. I think of this as pragmatic creative problem solving. Or something.

SAW: What makes you think it wasn't...? :)

Ziggi: Shhh.

Anil: Interesting perspective -- I see what you mean.

6/10/09 9:28 AM  
Blogger get zapped said...

I liked the original, but must admit, you came up with a very clever and beautiful solution to your dissatisfaction. I'm impressed by your craftsman ship and how lovely the final pieces go together and yet, they're splendid on their own. Inspirational!

7/10/09 9:25 AM  
Blogger Judith van Praag said...

Looks great, each small panel able to stand on its own, while at the same time adding to the total picture. Love it.
Btw would you consider adding the "following" option to your blog lay-out?
PS stumbled (yes) upon your blog post of 2006 about sacroiliac blues (up since 2 a.m. due to painful waking up "It's back again!"). What's new on that level?

8/10/09 4:37 AM  
Blogger andrea pratt said...

Get Zapped: Thank you! I'm pleased with having just solved a months-long nagging issue.

Judith: Thanks for visiting/commenting! The sacroiliac problem has resolved itself but I think the piriformis syndrome is a permanent fixture now. :( Had some lower back issues added to the mix about 2 years ago. Aging sucks. I'm using the Old Blogger template (still!). Not sure if I can add the following option. How do I do that?

8/10/09 9:09 AM  
Blogger self taught artist said...

love it...inspiring to know you took a chance and forced yourself to resolve something. looks way better all divvied up!

9/10/09 6:06 AM  
Blogger Melody said...

I love it!

13/10/09 10:18 AM  
Blogger Melody Cleary said...

The original was unbalanced - half empty and half busy. Now you have a balanced composition. I absolutely love it now!! Matisse said "creativity takes courage" - your solution was indeed creative and is a neat idea. Thx for sharing it.

20/10/09 9:19 AM  

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