|'It's a Sign of Spring' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
I should have known better. The painting began with a fight. I was using an old piece of Pastelmat paper that had some indentations. As soon as I put down my first layer I could see the marks. Interesting marks but they had nothing to do with my concept for the painting. I kept going. It was a struggle and it went downhill quickly.
|My underpainting layer. You can see the indentation marks on the paper|
|My reference photo and initial drawing. It is all about the road!|
My painting wanted to go in a different direction. I wasn't listening. I was frustrated and I wasn't having fun. And then I had a thought. What if I listened to the painting and let it go where it wanted? This time I let the bushes grow. The painting became about them...the little hint of Spring became a full blown stand of Forsythia in bloom. That is what it wanted to be all along.
"I begin with an idea, but as I work, the picture takes over. Then there is the struggle between the idea I preconceived... and the picture that fights for its own life." George Baselitz
The next time you are in a struggle with a painting. Listen carefully to what it may be telling you. You never know what might happen if you pay attention!