Recently my students were discussing why an artist would want to paint a subject more than once. One said that once she had painted it, that was it; she didn’t want to paint it again.
I have to admit to being guilty of painting it again. Any number of little phrases come to mind to explain why this might be so – “practice makes perfect”, “third time’s a charm”, “because it is there”, “try, try again”. When I was younger, poorer, and before the advent of digital cameras, I did on-site watercolour paintings which I used as the basis for bigger studio oil paintings. It was a necessity, the only way I could capture my source material. Sometimes when I am working on the first painting, I get an idea for a different way to paint the subject matter, and if that idea is good, I paint it again. Occasionally, the first painting just does not capture what I had in my mind’s eye, and that painting becomes a practice piece. Or, like the Impressionists, I paint the same plein air scene over and over again because it is there where I am, and every time the light is slightly different.
In the examples I’ve included, I painted the first one on-site in very bright, almost blinding light and when I got back to the studio I did not like the colours and some of the trees were falling off the page. So, I painted it again but I am not sure yet if this one captures my vision, so I just might have to paint it again….
This entry was first posted on June 21, 2013.