Is it just me, or do other artists spend 90% of their studio time working on the last 10% of the painting? If I painted for ten hours, the piece would look almost finished after one hour. I could slap it into a frame and most people wouldn’t notice it wasn’t “finished.” They might even admire my bold approach and my loose and casual brushstrokes.
The yard work didn’t happen, nor did the open beer in the back yard while listening to Indy 500 cars buzz by at the distant Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (When the wind is right they sound like a swarm of dive-bombing wasps from my house. Locally they black out the race on TV to boost attendance, so we can’t watch it live on TV like the rest of the country.)
Nope, I spent another nine hours on my feet working on the painting, my artist’s insecurity constantly pushing me into fixing “problems” and finessing little details that may or may not enhance the finished work.
In other words, wasted time. Most of that time was spent on the two roses in the upper left. Yes, the roses were a tiny bit better in the end, but not four-hours-on-a-holiday-weekend better:
I don’t know why roses are so hard for me. When I look at the structure of a rose blossom my brain scrambles the signal and I paint the visual equivalent of gibberish. It’s like I’m looking at it but not seeing it. I was using acrylics but finally had to break out the oils so I’d have more blending time. I’ll still probably go back when the paint is dry and add a glaze over the rose on the right to knock it back into the shadows more.
Ironically, this was painted for the A Day Not Wasted May challenge. Lee provided artists with a well-planned and executed reference photo. (See how he shot it here.) Lee invited us to use just parts of his extensive still life setup, and it seems most of us zeroed on in the same composition using the apple, lemon, and jug. My original square composition cut out the dreaded roses, but then I noticed that several people had already done that one, so I went rectangular and added the roses to the top.
In spite of all my whining, a day is not wasted if a lesson is learned. So once again I’m reminded to STOP FUSSING WITH THE PAINT. Overworking the paint is my biggest sin. I need to learn to lay the paint, leave it, and go have a beer.