Unpaint

It's been ages since I've painted on the easel. Typically I prefer to work on a flat surface because it's easier for me to work that way. I like laying on the paint and brush strokes while looking at it from above, and it also gives me better flexibility to walk around it and view it from different angles constantly. I'd almost forgotten how different the perspective is when you paint upright -- it's a welcome change, particularly since my back gets a bit creaky after painting for a few hours...

This piece that I'm working on came to me suddenly, while I was working on another one. I had this leftover blueish grey paint that I had mixed for this other canvas but it just wasn't quite right. I had visions of this soft, dreamy landscape with this blue, with ochre, maroon and bronze mixed in. I plan for it to be part of my Music series, which has already evolved from its original inception. I had thought that I'd do a series within a series, almost: I'd have paintings expressing the dynamics of music (ie, forté) as well as tempo (eg, allegro). This one, however, seems to be either a lullaby or sonata. The beauty of creating art is that you never know how the piece will turn out exactly. 

  Work in progress. Photograph taken at the south end of the kitchen/studio.

Work in progress. Photograph taken at the south end of the kitchen/studio.

Of course, now that I put this beautiful blue on the canvas, I cannot for the life of me seem to replicate it again. I have no idea how I mixed it the first time, but seem to recall having some grey and black with phthalo blue -- but every attempt I've made subsequently has not yielded that precise shade, nor come even close to it. 

Sometimes I think I get so fixated on finding a perfect colour or shade that I end up unpainting what I did the previous day(s). You know, where you're relatively pleased with how it initially goes down but then on further examination you decide that there are certain areas that need work. So then you mix your paints and focus on those areas, and when you step back you realize that you liked it much better before you messed it up. The only next step is to try to unpaint what you just did, which means mixing more paint and going back over those offending areas, and maybe some of the other spots too. And when you look at it again you think to yourself "What the eff did I just do...".

Coming back to painting on the easel -- I got frustrated with myself and decided to just let the piece REST for a little while. It's actually quite nice that I can look at it from afar and ruminate a bit on what it needs next. I'll let this breathe and see where it goes.