Thursday, May 03, 2012

Eye of the Beholder

It's not finished yet! The background is giving me fits. In my last post, the background was very fun almost like a children's book illustration, which I like but was not really what I was aiming for with this painting. I then tried to build those fun splotches of color into more foliage-like forms while still keeping it loose and fun. That was not so successful. The background began to have a disconcerting resemblance to camouflage fabric. So I worked away from the blobs and more towards hints of a habitat in the background. I do love the rich greens and moodiness in its current form, but I had hoped for a bit more...something. More abstract and vibrant? More tropical rainforest? More painterly and fun? It is hard to paint a certain way when you can't even put your finger on what it is you are after!

And this is where the eye of the beholder comes in. If I look at this painting as just a painting, I'm very pleased with it. However, if I look at this painting with my original vision for it, I am very frustrated. I showed this latest work to my husband and he argued against doing anything more to the background. He saw it as a portrait and therefore the background should be nebulous. My studio friends are urging me to work the background more. Then again I've heard many people say that the painting will tell you what to do and in this case, it seems the painting wants to be like this. Maybe I am trying to force it to be something it wasn't meant to be. Or maybe I actually need to keep working at it until I get it right. I'm overthinking this. What's your vote?


marianne said...

i think you should hang it in the house and let it talk to you. i love it the way it is, but since i never start out knowing how something will end up it's a lot easier for me to say that than it may be for you to do it. but give it time, don't try to force it. nice job on the bird! can't wait to see how he wants to be finished :) (and maybe he is).

Gabrielle said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Marianne. I left the painting alone for a week and just let it talk, as well as the more difficult task of trying to quiet my inner chatter about the piece. I think it really helped.

Thanks for visiting. I left a comment over on your blog, too.