Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Totally New Take on an Old Painting

I think I posted this painting as a failed piece a couple of months ago. It was a full sheet of watercolor paper with a fairly good drawing on it, but as you can see below, I got very lost along the way. I had an idea that didn't please me, so I ended up scrubbing off all the paint, leaving a ghostly image of what once was.

And there sat the paper, still taped to a board until this week. I have several old bits of work just hanging around the studio, so I decided to attack this one. What did I have to lose?

 
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I started with a fresh pallet of pure colors and just started to have fun with shapes and patterns. And I just let myself paint quirky stuff. Every time I stopped to question myself, I just shrugged it off and repeated, "What do I have to lose?"

 
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As I moved along with the background I saw problems to be solved, so I conjured up some little cabbages (among other fixes) to place in the foreground.

 
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I love those cabbages!

 
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As you can see, my biggest dilemma was how to bring the architectural reality into the fantasy I was creating. It took a considerable amount of just going forward and not thinking too much.

 
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At this point, I just started doing what artists do: ask questions. Is it balanced? Are there pieces that don't fit? Are there bad shapes?

After some tweaking, here is what I felt was finished for today.

 
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Checkered Past 30 x 22

If I were to start over, I would make the house more out of whack to begin with. Putting this realistic home into a fantasy did not work as well as a more whimsical abode.

I can hardly wait to hear what you think. And saying I'm nuts is really okay.

9 comments:

Liz said...

Wow--Margaret! I think you did a great job of reworking this paintings. I love the pattern and color you added---while I agree that the house could have been more "skewed" I still think it's a terrific save. What a great way to revamp an old painting--you had nothing left to lose and you really went for it! Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Hi Aunt Sue!

I love your painting emails! And was tickled with this one! What you've done is change a haunted house into a dollhouse. It's wonderful!! The colors are so vibrant and the neat shapes you've put into the forground certainly catch my eye, but the placement and colors you've used draw my eye right to the center each time I look at it. And then I bounce around the whole piece again. It's like eye candy. I LOVE it!!! You're amazing :)
Love, Janny

---- MSGodfreyArt wrote:

Anonymous said...

Very cool Margaret! Thanks for showing us how to turn a dreary, unhappy painting into something fun and whimsical! Love it!


Patrice

Anonymous said...

A cool and very different painting. I want a story to go with it...have you thought of a children's book? LV

Anonymous said...

What an absolutely fun make-over. I really like this painting. The cabbages are super!



Linda

Dianne said...

Aunt Sue,
I really love this one! The colors and fun shapes especially. It would be hard to convince someone that a fun whimsical painting was not your original intent. I love getting your blogs.
Love, Dianne

Anonymous said...

M. Sue --
I really enjoyed seeing the progression of your "Checkerd Past". I have very little expeerience with the mechanics of watercolor. I thought, once you applied the paint you were committed to that color! So I'm learning a little, second hand. And your finished product is delightful - whimsical and cheerful. Keep up the good work! Our best to all of you -- Love, Pat

Anonymous said...

I love it, Aunt Sue! Beautiful. Very magical. Reminds me of the children's book Brooks and I just read: Matthew's Dream; in which Matthew the mouse grows up to become a wonderful artist-- his largest and best picture gets placed in the museum that inspired him as a child, and when asked the title, he exclaims: "My dream!"


Nice book. You should read it to your beautiful grandchildren, if you haven't already.
xoxoxo ames

Anonymous said...

I love the lime green in the roof! And I think you did a great job. More whimsical would be good too, but I'm happy with this the way it is!
Aloha,
Mahealani