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What’s a painting clinic?
For me, it is an analysis of a painting with the aim of understanding how to improve it.
It is something I am good at – especially with other people’s work!
Recent sorting after the Open Studio turned up 6 or 8 small paintings for a clinic. Prior to the OS I had been getting some more wave paintings ready to exhibit so these smaller works were shelved. They included several outdoor works that need to be pushed a bit further (or abandoned). The resulting stack was like an “in tray” really. For attention….
Painting 1 – Sculptural Beach Shower
With this painting I needed to lose more silvery edges to add more subtlety and interest. There was also some resolving to do with the water at the base of the shower.
Painting 1 – Jetty Road, Brighton
“Jetty Road” in this first form was too heavy on the left lower corner – too much excitement with all that red! Also the Memorial Arch was too warm and advancing in the picture plane. A bit of give and take all round and some birds added some balance on the right hand side.
There are still works in progress I suspect.
Difficulties arise when I critique my own work. There must be time and space between the production and analysis to allow me to see the work objectively. Perhaps that’s not unusual?
To be able to see it anew, the painting must seem like someone else’s – unknown or forgotten. Definitely at a mental distance.
The more painting I do in the meantime the better, so perhaps it is not only time and space the work needs. I suspect that painting in itself is such a learning process that more experience adds understanding.
And time flies when you paint!
Although there are usually major projects on the go, a painting clinic is a small project that provides useful light relief. Almost like a snack between meals! They can be picked up and let go quickly.
The pressure of other work is also helpful as it enforces the STOP button. There is a stage when too MUCH later work becomes just plain fiddling. Is it the same for you?