What do artists do with their old paintings?
How easy or difficult is it to paint over an existing painting? How often do artists rejuvenate a painting?
While in the process of purging and re-organizing my studio, I came across a couple of paintings that had, in my opinion, ‘lived their life span.’ “Purple Ruffles,” was one of them. However, I was not willing to toss it into the trash.
What to do? Cry? Have a ceremony on its behalf? Resist? Give it away? Play frisbie with it?
I decided to sit back and give it a critique. In this iris painting, I had tried something different, in that I painted the border into the painting and then painted parts of the flower in front of the border. The success of this idea was okay, but what I really liked about the painting was the green and yellow background and the rhythm of the iris petals.
With this acknowledgment, I decided to go ahead and let go of “Purple Ruffles.” At some level, I admit, it was sad that she never found a good home, but I was ready to continue experimenting with an abstract painting concept using this painting as a base.
Since I use a palette knife through much of my painting process, I sanded off all of the rough spots, using both an electric sander and hand sand paper. I did so carefully. My goal was to eliminate any outlines of the flower or leaves. Areas were then covered with gesso, again using a palette knife. Gesso works well as a covering agent.
After the gesso dried, I then randomly applied some colors with a palette knife. Notice that the color scheme of purple and green was maintained, except for the addition of the turquoise. There was no plan, as such, at this point for this abstract painting. The greens and purples did start to make my think about peacock feathers.
When I paint my abstracts, I like to apply several layers of paint and color while playing with the juxtaposition of the geometric background shapes with the organic middle and foreground shapes. Creating a sense of depth is also something I strive for and, of course, color harmony/unity.
Here is my finished or re-birthed painting entitled “Peacock Swirl.” P.S. “Peacock Swirl” did find a lovely home. 🙂
What are your reactions? Thoughts? When and what have you rejuvenated recently?
Do you like my use of color? If you would like to learn more about color mixing and increasing your confidence with color, please join my next “Paint With Color Confidence” online color class that begins Thursday, September 19th.