Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Connecting with my painting and finishing work

Happy New Year! It has been a while since my last post. Over the last few months I have been working to complete a collection of Rome paintings. I have done some new ones from sketches and photos and also managed to complete some old ones which have been sitting in my studio.

I am often asked whether a painting is finished. Now that is hard to answer. I usually answer that "it will never be finished" as I am often not completely satisfied! The last month I have been really thinking about that as I ask my family what they think?! Often it is not the technical parts that really matter but whether it feels right. So how do you quantify that! I decided to put together some criteria for myself about finishing a painting:-

  • Does it convey the feelings I had at the time?
  • Does it have a sense of movement, can your eye travel around easily?
  • Does it give you a sense of being there i.e. could I step into the scene, a sense of reality?
  • Is there a good level of focus in some areas and not in others?
  • Do the colours work together in harmony?
  • Is there anything that is really catching my eye - a line or mark that needs removing? Or is there anything missing?
  • Do the people feel like they have life, ie not too stiff/rigid?
  • Can I feel something from or about the painting? eg. a story or wanting to know more
  • Does it still have an energy about it? ie. not overworked
If I can be happy that I have achieved most of the above then perhaps the painting is finished!

The most important thing is connecting with the painting. That means that every time you paint you know what you are trying to convey. I know my best paintings are painted from how I feel inside but hopefully these criteria will help me do that more often. Here are a couple (below) I think are finished at long last.

Dappled light, Rome
Under the umbrella