Painting clinics – for talkative works

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Painting clinics are sessions for a Review-Refresh-Recover approach to my work. Not all paintings are ready to meet the world immediately. Some wait quietly in the corner. Others hang on the wall, but catch my eye sometimes while I work on other things.

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Me, ignoring the talkative ones.

There are conversations that go on behind the scenes in the studio too.

Some paintings call out:  “Look at me! Look at me!”  Some say:  “It’s about time you spent time over here.”  Others whisper:  “I’m not quite right yet.”

Painting clinics

The chatter builds up. There are usually about five or six works competing for my attention by this stage. Eventually there is no option except to stop other work and focus on those talkative paintings.

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The clinic allows me to tackle them one-by-one. Up on the easel, with full attention, the painting is in the spotlight. By this stage I am quietly reading it. The passage of time has usually helped the freshness of my vision at this point. It may need stronger form and less detail, more tonal drama, or more exciting colour contrasts at the focal point.

Sometimes it takes a day, sometimes two or three. Whatever it takes I enjoy the interruption. And the surprises that emerge. Since I have been using oils, the surprises are in the colour.


I will include some thumbnails to illustrate what happens.

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Mary’s hedge. (allow for different lighting)

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Jetty Road, Brighton

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From Linear Park, Walkerville

Confession time. Sometimes there are paintings that go “west” rather than “well”. There are two lingering giants among my paintings that I have trouble reviewing right now. They have had a few clinics but suffered rather than prospered under the brush. I don’t paint giant-sized works these days and these two are at least 100x100cm or more. They have gone quiet for now as we are temporarily on bad terms.

More about them later. They are next on the clinic list!