Why tidy up?

This painting has been a struggle, it still isn’t right but  there are fewer bits that bother me now and more that I like.  When doing interpretive work from photographs, it’s interesting to consider why I sometimes worry that something ‘isn’t right’. For example, the arm and hand on the right of this image are ‘wrong’, but I liked the way they turned out just with the simple watercolour washes, they are expressive of the gesture in the photo. The arm and hand on the left were ‘wrong’ – meaning located and shaped differently from in the photo – and for some reason I felt the urge to correct that and eventually resorted to drawing in charcoal pencil, then adding more paint. I’m not quite comfortable with the solution, but in a way I like the wrongness of my attempt to change it. There are various deliberate technical inconsistencies in this piece.img061

Of course, when you are using collage, there is always the option to stick something over the bit you don’t like and carry on from there. I didn’t want to overload this painting, as a lot of it consists of very simple early wash layers. It’s from a peculiar and complex original photo so most likely I’ll do another version rather than go on tinkering with this.


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