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Thursday, September 11, 2014

How a Pair of Scissors Can Improve a Painting

'Under the Summer Sun I'         6x6          pastel           ©Karen Margulis
It was time for the scissors.  I got carried away with the bits and pieces in my painting. I had forgotten about the whole thing....the big picture. How do those bits fit in? Did the whole painting work or had I gotten too busy?  I sure was having fun but I wasn't satisfied with the results.

I left the painting on the easel. Maybe the answer would come in the morning. 

The 12x18 painting before the scissors 

I came down to the studio the next morning and was dismayed to see that the studio fairies had not paid a visit. The painting sat on the easel untouched. It still bothered me.  It was too fussy. I could brush it out and rework it.  Sometimes it is a matter of taking things away rather than adding pastel and more 'stuff'  that solves a problem. Brushing out would certainly simplify the painting.

The problem was I liked all the bits and pieces. I just didn't like them all together! If I brushed them out I would lose the things I really enjoyed. It was time for the scissors.

'Dancing with the Sun I'        6x6
I rarely resort to the scissors. But sometimes a painting is just too much for itself and it needs to be divided. My sunflowers needed trimming.  The painting was 12x18 so it would be easy to cut it into 6x6 and 4x4 squares.  It worked out perfectly. Each square was interesting to me.  I used a ruler and sharp pencil to mark and cut my squares. A sharp pair of scissors and a steady hand and I had 7 paintings instead of one!

Tip: If you decide your painting is a candidate for cropping be sure you don't just make equal divisions. I like to use mats in different sizes to visualize the crops. It just so happened that I was able to make equal divisions for the sunflowers. It doesn't always work that way! Mats help you decide on the best parts of the painting.

'Sunny Patch I'    4x4

'Dancing with the Sun II'          6x6

'Under the Summer Sun II'         6x6
All of the sunflower squares are available in my Etsy shop. Visit my shop here.


Popsu7 said...

Wow! Looks great whole OR in pieces!!!

Julie Ford Oliver said...

It does work doesn't it? I like your cropping choices, but I also liked the original.
The main thing is it didn't excite YOU and I totally understand as that happens to me too. I cut up canvas just like you do paper and glue the chosen area on a panel.


Your painting went to pieces in the greatest way.