I am definitely in an obsessive phase where I must shed old stuff and finish old business. Hence the recent studio/old art purge, and a resultant sudden creative burst. The purgative effect is entering my work. Looking at old, failed paintings with a new eye and seeing solutions, some solutions have boiled down to Fix or Toss (this bad painting broke in two over my knee with a satisfying snap). I’m pulling paintings out of frames and making long-wished-for changes. Do we sense a metaphor here?
Besides the Painted Bunting Variations, to be finished by the weekend, I’m remodeling the following:
a large watercolor of a pair of Barred owls;
a small acrylic of a Black-faced ant thrush and
a large pastel/graphite of a Double-toothed kite
I expect about a day or two’s worth of work on each. After which I can breathe again. And move on to new things.
Barred Owl watercolor, 16″x27″, this one never quite worked. Pulled it out of the frame. Am trying to save it.
It’s a nocturne, and I never liked the greenish cast in the sky. First thing I did was lay in a nice wash of Indanthrone Blue and Cobalt Violet.
The owls had some anatomical/perspective nastiness, and required much lifting of paint to change shapes. I also softened edges and too-tight feather rendering, simply by washing lightly with a clean wet brush. These images show a mid-phase, lifted and reshaped but not yet restored. Just looking at them here, I can see some further corrections will be necessary!
This acrylic, 11″x11″, is also not working. It’s a Black-faced Ant thrush, my favorite tropical walkin’ bird with an easily imitated whistle which can lure it out of the woods for a little cross-species duetting.
I “fixed” this in Photoshop, pushing things back and pulling things forward using mauves and blues where needed. The bird is now emerging from the deep gloom and walking off the edge. More metaphors.
Double-toothed Kite pastel and graphite, 20″x26″. Drawn from life amid the light-gap vegetation of Barro Colorado Island, where it perched, posed, then pounced on a lizard climbing a tree trunk. I like the piece but there was always something amiss with the drawing of the breast and barring. Too flat. The tail has problems, too. Much to address here.
“Fixed” in Photoshop. Soon to be fixed in reality!