Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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03/02/2005: "Last entry (I promise) on the raven cat painting"

Someone in my guestbook said I should paint the window totally out of the painting, that it's distracting. I photoshoped it. I kind of like it without the window, just not sure if I like it enough to repaint it tonight when it's already overdue at the gallery.

This is what it would like like without the window, but in the black frame I have picked out for it.

A co-worker made the comment that by posting so many versions of a painting for public comment I’m actually creating work by popular demand! That isn’t the case at all. I’m posting a version based on either a feeling that something isn’t working or to try out something new to see if it improves the piece or not.

Ultimately I make the decision based on what *I* think works the best. Getting input from other artists/viewers allows me see things I might otherwise miss which is a helpful part of the process for me; nothing is 100% finished until I say it is.

raven-cat5 (20k image)

Replies: 6 Comments

on Wednesday, March 2nd, Jackie said

E: I definitely think it's better - compositionally - without the window bars. I like either the red or green background - but see the point of the green,which doesn't draw you from the picture itself. I also like the red berry in the beak.
No, no, no - wait! put it back the way it was with the red! (just kidding).

on Wednesday, March 2nd, Elise said

Thanks Jackie…I know what you mean, after so many possibilities it becomes kind of crazy, like, ah crap give it a rest will ya!?

I think it looks cleaner without the window, but as someone else pointed out, you lose the fact that it’s a cat looking at a bird through a window and all that that implies. Plus, it might mess up the perceived perspective etc. without the window to make sense of the scale.

All rather academic concerns, visually I think I like it better without the window but I’ll probably leave it in because I think the narrative aspect is more interesting with it in. Actually…I’ll probably make a last minute decision tonight, as I have to drop it off at the gallery tomorrow morning.

Tonight I have a couple “collectors” coming over to pick up a painting they purchased and to have a glass of wine. I don’t know how long they’ll stay, not sure how much painting I’ll have time for.

on Wednesday, March 2nd, holly said

I like it with the window- not only for the narrative element it implies, but because it gives an interesting skewed perspective to the piece. You take the window frame away and what? A cat looking at a bird, straight on. My eye is no longer interested.

It's been very interesting to see the different steps you've taken this piece through!

on Wednesday, March 2nd, holly said

Looking at it both ways again, I feel like I'm interacting in the scene, standing behind the cat, with the window frame in place. Removing the window removes the figural elements-- and the viewer-- from the original context.

OK, I'll stop now. I like doing this. Post more, please, because I don't look at enough art on a daily basis. ;)

on Thursday, March 3rd, Dio said

Definitely better with the skewed window - Holly's hit the nail on the head.

on Thursday, March 3rd, Elise said

Thanks yet again guys!

I came home last night and had a bottle of wine with the couple who were picking up their painting...3 hours later, feeling hungry and a little tipsy, I was in no mood to finish the painting.

I didn't start working on it until after midnight, I was just going to do some touch-ups but ended up practically repainting the entire thing. I kept in the window though, so mostly all the extra painting just sort of cleaned up the colors.

Didn't get to sleep until 3am. Now I had to get up early to go to a distance education conference at the university. It's ALL DAY LONG! I'm going to be falling asleep but at least the painting is finished, at long last.