Continuing Process

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with objects it loves.” -Carl Gustav Jung

In my previous post (click on link to see how this painting started), I began to talk about process.  I created an underpainting and began to add color to my beginning charcoal drawings. Once I began to add color, I no longer liked the background painting. I couldn’t continue with the painting until I adjusted the background. In the photo below, you can see that I’ve started to add vibrant color and I have not finished that process yet. At this point, I am thinking I will leave the ‘town’ as abstract line and color. I need to finish painting the new background colors around the figures too. I hope to get to that today.

WIP Minstrels Coming to Town acrylic 24x24 cradled birch panel

Minstrels Coming to Town
24×24 cradled birch panel

When I make a change that makes the work click for me, I get very full of myself immediately afterwards and I am guilty of letting that feeling get the better of me sometimes. I have occasionally sent out work that wasn’t fully formed yet.  I am now trying to let my paintings sit in my studio for a while before sending them out into the world. When I first started painting, I was so amazed I could get anything on a canvas. But now I have come to recognize the value of polish and revision. In fact some paintings never get to see the world, but are entirely painted over. The last four or five paintings I’ve done are hung in my house, so I can visit them for a while with a critical eye first.

How do you know your painting is finished? What makes you realize it’s true to your current voice? Is it just a ‘feeling?’

“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.” -Aristotle

About Judy Shreve

Blogging for me is like keeping a journal which I have done in various forms since I can remember. But what's great about this format is it offers an opportunity to explore all the things that interest me as an artist with others. Blogging seems to strengthen that sense of being part of both something personal and something universal. It takes the journaling idea and expands it through visitor's comments creating a valuable dialog that connects us to each other no matter where we live. I enjoy responding to each comment and warmly welcome your visits. email: judyshreve at mac dot com
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6 Responses to Continuing Process

  1. lynne says:

    everything… but that little tamborine… : )


  2. Annie says:

    Judy, I love this painting as is, but I am not the painter :-). I always hang my work and live with it for a few weeks before it goes anywhere, about 50% of the time it gets more work done on it, but if a piece hangs around for a long time sometimes it gets plastered over, I just finished plastering over 80% of my inventory in the last 6 months as I did not resonate with the work anymore. There are exceptions, the piece I did for the book, I knew I loved it and it was done, but that is rare. I think painting and finishing is all intuitive, it is for me anyway and each piece is different. xoxo

    • Judy Shreve says:

      Thank you Annie. My husband said the same thing – to just leave it alone, but I have some more work to do on it. I will post photos when I’m finished.

      I agree with all you said about painting and finishing – each piece is different.

  3. Rayna Diane Hennen says:

    I love the little different colored stockings on the person with the little tambourine!

    I know what you mean about just being happy and amazed to have something on canvas. While taking that painting class a big, rich, red flower emerged. I have decided to leave it for now simply because it just evolved and appeared and I would like to let it live for awhile so I started a new canvas instead of painting over it. It may only have the summer but for now, it’s pretty neat! 🙂

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