Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tiny Gems

a bit of luck 9x12 mixed media collage 2009

I spend a good bit of time experimenting on small pieces. I often keep them, or give them as gifts. This particular painting was made with the idea of giving it as a graduation gift. (The young man asked for a painting - I know - an unusual request.) I didn't spend much time on it, it just came together very quickly. Most of the time the best work I do is very spontaneous - with no high expectations. The problem is, when I then try to use these little gems as studies for larger paintings-the spontaneity gets completely lost in translation. I end up "dinking" it to death, trying to get at the same freshness that I achieved on the small piece. This is a constant, CONSTANT, struggle for me. In trying to get back to a wonderfully messy, impulsive, and lively composition...I just end up with a mess. I guess if it was always this easy - painting wouldn't be so rewarding. Back to the drawing board.

3 comments:

jan said...

Kathy,
I really like this piece. I know what you mean about the spontaneity and trying to duplicate it in a larger piece. Two things come to mind: have you tried larger "studies"? say 18" x 24" Another idea is to do smaller studies in a series and then tie them together on a larger piece even if its literally glueing them on a larger piece of paper/canvas.
I am doing some portaits of my children. I divided a 36" square canvas into 4 parts and work the portaits that way. I found it help keep the painting "fresh".
Good Luck and smart is the young man who wants art as a present!!
Jan

Jayne said...

I understand completely! Which is why I have to keep my smaller pieces separate from the larger, for the most part, and try to see them more as practices that keep me fresh. As I say this though, I just realized I have been planning on taking a smaller study and turning it into a larger series... your post is a good reminder of the challenges that lie ahead! :)

lovely little painting- what a wonderful gift!

-Jayne

meika said...

I've just started some relief sculpture on medals-sized pieces and I am going to take this post as a warning.