Sunday, September 1, 2013

Taking Time to Finishing a Piece

Over two years ago I painted Sing Me the Legends. I loved both the creation of this piece and the meaning it holds for me. It carries a personal message and has a lot of emotional content, which may or may not come across to the viewer.

Sing Me the Legends, Before
However, I have entered it in a number of competitions, yet it has never been accepted. This last spring, at a WSO conference, Juror Mary Ann Beckwith critiqued Sing Me the Legends. She gave me encouragement--she found it interesting with beautiful passages, but questioned why I hadn't finished the left edge of the painting. At first I didn't understand what she meant. I thought I had finished the edge and loved the painting so much I was reluctant to change it.

This weekend I returned home after two weeks away and became fearless in the studio. First I took Sing Me the Legends out of the drawer and looked at it with a fresh eye. I could see that the pale left edge lacked the same colorful and dramatic approach of the rest of the piece. As Mary Ann said, the edge needed to be finished.

Sing Me the Legends, After

Now when I look at this piece, my eye is carried into the white water in the upper area and around the rocks, which is really where the action is. Also, the petrogylph pieces coming down on the left sided are much more settled into the piece. All in all, the changes have made this pai so much stronger.

While I was on a roll, I took another piece out of the drawer, River Tapestry #1. I had liked the start and the concept, but knew it needed the finishing details to make it make sense to the viewer. (If you are interested in the start to finish of this painting, see a previous post Orange Juice or More Lemons? You Be the Judge

River Tapestry #1 Before
My idea had been to create a strong connection between the water theme and the fabric quality surrounding it, living up to the title, River Tapestry #1. When I placed this unfinished piece in my file cabinet, I knew it was a ways from finished, but it wasn't clear to me how to finish it. 

I went to work making the water flow through the piece, emphasizing the currents and white water. I added threads that I saw as remnants of the weaving of the tapestry. I reworked some of the colors to ensure the painting felt balanced.

River Tapestry #1 After
With the finishing touches, I have become quite enamored with this painting. I am preparing to mount it on a cradle, rather that a traditional mat and frame, giving it a contemporary presentation.

Do you see the improvement?

Do you connect with either of the paintings featured today? Comments are always welcome.

I am currently finishing River Tapestry #2--yet another blog post topic. 


Anonymous said...

Looking at Sing Me the Legends now, I feel the rush of adrenaline that a rapid always brings me before I row it with you in the boat. You have done great job of capturing the chaos and speed of whitewater, and the emphasized left edge is definitely an improvement.

Your rower.

Liz said...

Margaret, I love how you've improved both paintings by taking a risk and going for it. Both are much stronger--I think Sing me The Legends is destined for greatness!

Liz said...

Margaret--You took a risk and made both paintings even stronger than before. I see great things for "Sing Me the Legends" the next time you enter it into a show. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

I can really see the improvements in both pieces. You are so imaginative & FEARLESS!!

Anonymous said...

You are a pro at layering. Love both paintings. Yes, I see the changes. Really like the changes.