Wednesday, April 27, 2016

It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over!


Last weekend I participated in an Plein Air event in San Dimas. The artists had three hours to complete a painting, frame it, get it to the gallery, and be judged. No stress here (wink).

One of the reasons for plein air events is to introduce collectors to your work, interact with artists and be entertainment for the show. I love to see and catch up with old friends, students and collectors. 

To be honest painting and talking don't happily coexist in my brain. At a certain point I need to shut off chatter and give my entire focus to what I'm doing. One gentleman didn't seem to understand and continued to have a rapid list of questions that had nothing to do with the painting before me. I was running out of time! After I while I put down my brush, turned around and said " I can either talk or paint, not both".  He had a look of surprise. Hopefully he wasn't to offended as he walked away.

When I teach workshops it something entirely different. I am talking about everything that's happening before me…the scene, drawing, light & shadows, moisture of the paper, edges, color combinations and so much more. But every painting has a stage when you must be quiet and devote your entire attention to it.


After three hours I signed the painting, put it in a frame and got it to the gallery. When the event was over the artists collected their paintings. 

This morning I pulled the painting out to have a second look. The shadows didn't have enough contrast. So I popped the painting out of the frame and went back to work.  Now I'm happy.

It's our final touches (brush strokes, lines, dashes of color...) that separates our work from someone else's. You could say it's our signature marks or look.  Glad I had a chance to rework the painting. As they say... "It ain't over until it's over".

Happy Painting!
Brenda

15 comments:

  1. As Always I'm amazed at your talent! Love it!

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  2. I love this Brenda! An ordinary moment in life captured so beautifully!

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  3. Lovely...and yes, we must give creating our attention, well done.

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    1. It's a fine line between being pleasant and drawing the line when I've had enough. The "gentleman" had no real interest in my work and had eaten up too much time. He just wanted me to notice him...ugh!

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    2. We try to remain polite but it can be upsetting. I have had people take out their phones to show me their own work. Most likely they don't realize that we're painting under time constraints. The times I've been so focused on my work that I don't even turn to look at them has helped. They move on. This is a beautiful painting. Just shows how professional you are to pull off a great painting even when "bugged."

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  4. Brenda, thank you for showing both versions! I think I actually learned something from the comparison. When I saw the first posting of this painting, I liked it, but thought it didn't capture me like most of your work! Then I looked carefully at this finished piece and it all became so evident - the deeper contrast, dashes of bold color - in design we called it the "extra 10%"! Terrific!

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    1. Diane, Exactly! It's the final touches that separates our work for someone else's. Our signature look or marks. Good observation!

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  5. Thank you for sharing, and so sorry that man was taking up your valuable time that you had to be firm with him.

    It's instructive to me that you found a need to increase the contrast, to deepen the darks, once you got home. This is a common situation for me. In my plein air painting I invariably paint too light and am unhappy with the anemic lack of contrast. I do believe I paint more boldly at home. Maybe I can talk myself into painting more boldly in the field!

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  6. Stacy, Nothing wrong with making adjustments later. On location the main goal is the record light, local color and a sense of place.

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  7. I do love this image. That seems like a lot of pressure, to do something in a short amount of time, while also dealing with other people! Congratulations for submitting it on time, even though you felt it needed some more....

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  8. Amazing how YOU can make a window look so beautiful!!
    Love your painting!

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    1. Anita, I like to find beauty in everyday things.

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