Friday, February 5, 2010

The Re-Do

In the last couple of weeks, as I finally get out from under the last of the move, I've pulled out the unfinished or problem pieces and tried to make some decisions about them. A couple were, I decided, unsalvageable--generally something basic was wrong with the concept or the composition--and those I recoated with a gray ground. It can be a grand relief to make a bad painting simply go away.

Then there are the paintings that are not so bad they need to disappear; they're the ones I need to recast in my mind as unfinished or with problems that may have solutions and work a little harder to bring them together.

The painting Column from July of 2008 has continued to bother me. It's been out and come back again. It was a difficult painting from the beginning; the deep chromatic red in the background seemed to overpower everything, the figure was stiff and her head not quite right, Milly got her tough cow-punching feet on it once, and neither I nor Chris could seem to get a good photo of it. The only thing I really liked was the, well, butt crack. But those hips seemed worth the trouble of another attempt at a better piece, and a canvas with paint on it moves along more quickly because I like the surface better.

Here's the re-do:

And the two together:

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