Salvage

May 15, 2012

Is it just me or do other artists also tend to end up with a number of unfinished paintings?  What usually happens to me is that I paint outdoors furiously for several hours and then the group I’m with is ready to quit, so I take a photo and plan to finish it at home some day.  But other activities get in the way or I need a different kind of painting for an upcoming show so I start something new.  Nowwhat should I do with these unfinished canvases?

First of all, I have to decide if a particular canvas is worth finishing.  If not, I remove the canvas from the stretchers and attach new canvas that I buy in a huge roll.  Some I really like and with the help of the photo finish quickly.  Then there are the iffy ones.  I was looking at one like that the other day.  I had done a painting of some daylilies in a friend’s yard while sitting in front of them.  But that was almost a year ago and it is easy to lose interest.

But an upcoming show at the Topeka Art Guild Gallery is called “Fields, Flowers, and Gardens.”  Maybe here was something I could enter.  So I took the time to figure out what needed correcting and there were several things.  First I noticed that there was too much space at the top where not much was going on and there didn’t seem to be enough contrast between light and dark.  Also, what kind of frame did this painting call for?

I actually found the frame first among my stash of frames bought inexpensively with the idea that surely I could find a use for something this cheap.  This particular frame had been on another painting but it didn’t look right so I had removed the painting.  When I held it over the painting of the daylilies I was surprised how good it looked.  For one reason, the frame was smaller than the painting and by moving it around I could remove some of that uninteresting space.  Fortunately, I had canvas stretchers of the right size for the frame.  So I removed the painting of the daylilies from its stretchers and attached it to the slightly smaller stretchers.  Making more contrast between light and dark was the next step which didn’t take too long.  So now I have another finished painting.  I’ve posted it on the Midwestern Rural page.

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