When to Give up on a Painting

This is a painting in flux.

I often tell my students that acrylics are wonderful because they are so easy to paint over.  This is true, but eventually texture build up can become the enemy.  When this happens it can become more and more frustrating to apply paint because the attempt to conceal a previous layer’s texture interferes with the intentions for the painting.  So after layers and layers of paint and hours lost, when do you throw in the towel?  At some point all you can do is ask yourself, “am I really accomplishing anything?”  A few days ago I was in a similar predicament with another painting (it has just been one of those weeks).  I plowed ahead and I am now really happy with the outcome.  After hours of frustrations something clicked and a successful painting emerged.  Today, however, feels different.  I think I am much further away from where I want to be.  So, I have a decision to make.  To throw way or to keep at it?

On Texture

I love the texture of paint.  Thick creamy plains of color piled on top of each other…
There are two kinds of texture in painting- actual texture and visual texture.  Actual texture (or physical texture) refers to the texture you can touch and feel on the surface of the painting.  Visual texture is when something is painted to look like a texture but does not necessarily feel like the texture.  I am interested in texture because it plays a big role in how we experience the natural world. Contrasts in color and texture on the surface of a painting will distinguish plains and edges.  My work strives to explore the way both physical and visual texture become a perceived space in landscape.

I have been on a break from painting the last few weeks.  Classes, festivals, and a few new commissions have kept me very busy.  However I know I will be delving into studio work again soon and I cannot wait!

By the way, if you have not checked out my summer festival schedule yet, please do so!
2013 Festival Schedule