Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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05/03/2006: "When it can't get any worse, the real fun begins"

Last night I worked on the tango painting (yes I'm still painting)...I haven't been happy with it and everytime I worked on it, it seemed to get worse and worse. Finally last night I decided to pull the plug on it, or at least not put it in the show on Friday. It was about 9:00pm and once I made the decision to not use the painting, I thought, well, I'm just going to have fun with this since it's going on the heap anyway.

So I just randomly colored stuff in, not being too careful, decided to repaint the guys face and make his eyes open and facing the viewer, nothing too dramatic, but it was the sensation of working on a painting that I thought no one would ever see, that made it so liberating. Ever have that experience?

And the end result (though not dramatic or different at all in terms of my "style" etc.) is that I like it. I like it and I'm going to use it after all. So, I think the real catch 22 is that when you are still working on paintings up until the very last moment before you have to hang them, the worry that you might ruin them makes you stiffen up, and not paint at your best. Which is unfortunate because about half of my paintings I think I could improve if I just had a couple more weeks...but, it's time for me to stop now.

Replies: 4 Comments

on Wednesday, May 3rd, marja-leena said

Hey, time to have fun as you get your show up! Relax and have a great opening - wish I could be there! Have someone take lots of photos for us to see.

on Wednesday, May 3rd, elaine said

I agree with Marja-leena except that in my own experiment relaxing is a bit of a prob! wish I could be there too...waiting for pics! Have a great opening Elise!...

on Wednesday, May 3rd, holly said

Maybe it's some form of the Hawthorne Effect--when people act differently because they know they're being observed. Perhaps you paint diffrently (or from a different place) if you know the piece is for public consumption.

And what, no pictures?!?

on Wednesday, May 3rd, Elise said

Thanks Marja-leena! I'll try to remember to take (or have someone else take) some photos at the opening...I always forget.

And I agree Elaine, relaxing is more than a "bit" of a problem, it's nearly impossible for me!
And Holly, that's an interesting idea, the Hawthorne Effect related to painting, I hadn't considered that before but you're probably right...

Oh, and I didn't want to post a picture of the painting because, even though I like it more now, I still have to "fix" a couple things...and you know..after all the build up...