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Friday, August 10, 2018

Behind the Scenes of a Painting: The Freedom to Change

'A Breath of Fresh Air'           11x14           pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $175
 It is never in stone. Just because we start out with one idea doesn't mean we have to stick with it. We might even actually get to the end of a painting and still make a significant change. If it leads to a better painting we have to give ourselves permission to make changes. We have to overcome the fear we sometimes have of brushing out something that is not working.

I experienced this freedom to change today. I had some time in the studio and wanted to paint but I didn't want to start something new. So instead I pulled out a demo I did for my workshop in Vermont this past June. Have a look at it in the photo below. It had some marks from transport. And because it was a demo I was now looking at it with fresh eyes. It had decent enough bones but I thought it needed a change. It really needed some color! It needed some lupines!

The original demo painting before I changed the flowers
That is one of the things I love about painting. I have the freedom to alter reality. I could plant lupines in a meadow that had Queen Annes Lace. We sometimes forget that we have this freedom to make changes! I took out a stiff bristle brush and brushed out the busy flowers. It was looking better already!

I sprayed the foreground with some workable fixative and started adding some blues and pinks for my Lupines. I did have another reference photo of some lupines I saw on a walk during my workshop and I used the photo to refresh my memory. I also refined the tree and added brighter greens to the grasses. It truly was liberating to make an unexpected change but a change that made the painting more interesting.

Simplify by brushing off the busy stuff
closeup of the lupines

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