Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Another Echo

 The Ruins of Wide Ruin
24" X 18"
Acrylic on Canvas

Have you ever been to a place that feels like a vague memory? Maybe that's why I painted the ruins of Wide Ruin twice. I feel as though I stood in the dust of that yard…waiting for something…and finally taking refuge from the blistering sun under this Spider Woman tree casting a shadow of protection with outstretched arms.

This pattern of repeating images in my paintings is fairly recent. I never used to paint things more than once. I would become bored with a subject by the end of the painting and would never consider repeating it.

It's not due to a lack of images to work from. Sometimes I’m curious see what would happen if I used another medium or different approach. In this case, the echo of Wide Ruins is painted on a much larger canvas than the first version.

When I started this painting I was on fire—bringing it near to completion over a weekend. But then, I lost my momentum. The piece sat languishing in the "viewing area" for weeks. I ignored it and started three more paintings.

And that took some serious ignoring. Not finishing a painting bugs the hell out of me. There are very few pieces I'll give up on. I hate to admit defeat (this extends to my non-art life, too).

An example? The painting of the wonderful horse we saw running across the desert near Toadlena (toe-AHD-lenah) was one of those aggravations. It's buried in a stack of canvases in my studio so I don't have to look at it and come to terms with my unsolved problem. It's likely I'll paint over that canvas, since the horse has declared I shall not capture him.

Eventually I heeded the lament of “the unfinished one” and returned to complete The Ruins of Wide Ruin. It only took a few minutes of concentrated brushwork to repair the nagging boo-boos. It wasn’t as large a task as it had grown to be in my head.

Speaking of unsolved problems, after looking and looking and looking at it, I think I've figured out what to do with the other unfinished painting I mentioned a post or two ago. Now I just have to buckle down and fix it.

Though I might start something new first.

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