Getting back to work when I have been away from the studio for several weeks is a challenge. I seem to forget how to apply the paint while I have been away and spend hours and sometimes days procrastinating before I actually get down to some serious work. But when I came back from a recent trip I had to focus instantly as I had a deadline to meet for a gallery I want to work with and a very short turn around to produce some new work for them and for my own Christmas show.
Whilst I have a stock of work that could have been used, I needed something fresh and in a smaller format than usual. I prepared 3 small canvasses – 40 x 40 and decided to rework another slightly larger canvas that had lost its way during the summer. The small pieces were relatively straight forward, but it was re-working the larger piece that put me through the hoop.
As I worked at revising it, the painting simply would not come right. Under other circumstances I might have given up, but abandoning it and starting something new was not an option. It’s funny how you just know when something is going to work, returning to each day there is a feeling of anticipation and energy.While you are working on it, you become increasingly absorbed in the continuing journey. It makes painting the sheer joy it can be. But like coins this feeling has its reverse and this particular canvas was no exception.
Every morning I went out to the studio with a heavy heart and sure enough found something else that was wrong with it. A sleepless night followed my dear husband’s comment that he didn’t think I was going to resolve it! What was I going to do? I simply did not have enough work that I felt happy with and the painting I was relying on was defeating me. But I was determined not to give up! So, tense though I had now become, I just kept working until one morning I walked back into the studio and realised that it was almost there.
So what have I concluded from all this about deadlines? Yes, the,luxury of painting for its own sake with no clear exhibition in mind is what a lot of artists crave, but having to paint in order to produce, in order to sell, in order to buy more materials, has provided a tension that can be useful. The painting I am writing about - at the top of this blog - was certainly not one of my best pieces, but it is good enough!