Artists: What You Have To Lose To Gain

Updated: Jun 11, 2019

Have you stood in front of your painting, stared at it for a long time, quieted your mind enough to hear what it was saying to you, and listened to what it said?


“You have to break me.”


Uh oh 😟


During the creation of my recent Fetish Of Form paintings for the Over Worked show, I was faced with this question a few times.

Before I started creating this painting, “Think It Into Oblivion,” I had a vision for what I expected it to look like. Here is the piece in an early stage.




I had an idea to cover the left side of the painting with subtle texture and washes of dark color over textured light colors.




At this point I was feeling dissatisfied with the painting. It really need a drastic shake-up. I took some R&F paint sticks and ran them over most of the entire surface of the painting, including all of the parts that I spent hours rendering!

This did take some courage because when you do this, there will be parts that are permanently changed, no matter if you try to scrape off the new paint, or wash it off with solvent, or whatever.

This piece was lacking a verve that I felt adding strong shapes with dramatic contrast would bring to it. And to find these shapes, I was going to have to set aside what I had already created and “mess up” the piece for a while to get to a stronger design.




In the end, I am much more satisfied with this dramatic shift in the composition in the piece that I would not have found were I afraid to listen to the piece. It was begging for a stark change, and I answered the call.




Through listening to what our heart is telling us about the painting, we can uncover a more powerful image, even if our heart is telling us to destroy what we have already created.



Interested in learning more about my Fetish Of Form series? Write “GAINS” in comments below and I’ll follow up with you directly.

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