Florida painter, Everglades, Marco Island, artist Jo-Ann Sanborn


Any serious painter knows that not every painting is successful, and here is a perfect example of a painting gone bad. Careful analysis will tell me whether or not it can be saved or must be scrapped.

I can usually tell in the first half hour whether or not my composition will work. Once I'm moving ahead, I choose a color harmony that I'll use throughout the painting. This system works well in most cases, and after a while I'm feeling pretty good about the painting.

But once in a while I'm almost finished before I realize that a painting is just not good. It's an unpleasant surprise. How did I get this far along without realizing I was off track? Why didn't I see these problem on one of my stand-backs?

There are some nice reflections in the water but they don't correspond with what's in the sky. The water shape and the land shape are almost exactly the same size-boring! Instead of adding excitement, the eye follows the diagonal right out of the painting. The small bushes look like m&m's and the scale of the palms is wrong for the sawgrass. UGH.

Sometimes working through problems leads to artistic growth, other times the painting becomes so overworked that getting rid of it (yes, trash) is the better part of valor. This one's just not my best work, and I'm going to have to make some serious changes. Off to the studio!


Judie said...

Jo-Ann, to the casual viewer, none of those things appear incorrect. I think because we KNOW the rules, we are more critical of ourselves.

The things you mention are exactly the things we discuss in our Guild quarterly critiques.

Jo-Ann Sanborn said...

Talk as we will there's a lot we miss in our own paintings! Ah, but once you see them they must be fixed.

Judie said...

I just finished taking a collage workshop today and I had so much stuff wrong that I was tearing my hair out. Skitoma is a word that means not being able to see the flaws in one's own work. I see every flaw and it drives me crazy!

Jo-Ann Sanborn said...

Your work is lovely, and now you're being too critical! Besides, it's almost impossible to have all right stuff in the same painting and still have a bit of the artist in there.

I love the work Skitoma, new to me.

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