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Monday, March 05, 2018

Before and After: A Painting is Rescued

'Summer Breeze'           16x20         pastel        ©Karen Margulis
I admit it. I was looking for a painting to fill a frame. We are doing some renovation of our family room and kitchen and needed a 16x20 painting to finish my gallery wall. I enjoy collecting other artist's work but I also like to frame and hang some of my work in other parts of my home besides my studio. I learn from looking at what I did (and didn't do!) I update the gallery wall from time to time. It was time!

I needed a wildflower painting to fit my theme. But I didn't have a 16x20 handy for instant gratification. So I did the next best thing.....revive and rework a much older painting. The painting (below) was on Uart so I never threw it away though it was never going to see the light of day.
Can you list the things that are wrong with the original painting?

The original dud of a painting was 18x24

  • The flowers were blowing in the wind but the grass wasn't! That doesn't make sense.
  • The flowers were all on top of the grass rather than integrated into the grasses.
  • The grass marks were all the same size and in the same stiff upright direction.
  • The yellow flowers were ugly. They were stiff and too dense. Yuck!
  • There wasn't much I liked about the painting other than the sky color!
First I marked off  a section of the original 18x24 to fit my new 16x20 size. Look closely to see the lines. I used a stiff brush to brush off the top layer of pastel giving me a ghost image of green, yellow and blue shapes. I sprayed a light coat of workable fixative to fix these shapes in place. I then recomposed by blocking in some Queen Annes Lace shapes.

Remeasured, brushed out and a new beginning
I liked the subtle hints of yellow that were left over from the old painting so I added suggestions of yellow flowers back into the painting. I added the final touches and linear grass strokes that were blowing in the breeze this time! One finished I used a utility knife to cut the painting to size!

Adding back some yellow flowers
I will take a photo of my gallery wall when It is finished! What do you have in your reject pile that needs to be reworked? This week is a good time to give it a go!

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