"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Post Project Angst and the Good Painting Fairy

I am glad to have finished the leaves but, ever the irritating perfectionist, I just want to do them all over again, to correct the mistakes. At the moment I can see only the mistakes and I know, from long and bitter experience, that the worst thing to do is to try and correct at this stage. This is a familiar feeling, not only restricted to artists.The desire to go back and try to improve the work can be almost overwhelming.

I have had to put things away, out of sight, in cupboards, under the bed, faces to the wall, buried at the bottom of piles of books, for a week or two or more, just to rid myself of the accusing stare of badly applied paint or errant pencil lines. However, maybe months later, returning to the piece with a sigh of despair, bracing myself to re address the errors, I have often found that the good painting fairy has passed my way and those glaring errors have somehow been blended into the nice bits. Even better, now with the benefit of increasing age and decreasing memory, I have actually forgotten what the problems were. Sometimes when I look at a very old piece, years old, I may even occasionally say .. 'Wow how did I do that!'

It can, sadly, work the other way and then the only option is to tear the wretched thing up and put you and it out of your collective misery. Occasionally in a desperate attempt to find some recompense for hours of work I have cropped out small nice bits so I can at least say one square inch of it worked! In my philosophical moments I say to myself, and always preach to my students, that if one centimeter has been successful then the painting has not been a complete waste of time. This is 100% true, but cold comfort when 90% of your hard won creation is languishing in the bin.

However now it is on with the game and more leaves and now flowers.. Hmmm... I am not so engaged with the showy end of plants but here in Florida there are some strange and wonderful things to discover...and for me the stranger the better.

Today's drawing is a compromise between leaves and flowers, a dainty little grass Dichromanea latifolia or white star sedge, whose leaves (bracts) are masquerading as white flowers tipped with green. They carry their nodding heads high on long fine stems. (my drawing here shows only one third of the stem. ) There are 6 long tapering leafy bracts, shaded from white to green 3 long ones and 3 shorter ones with the flowers clustered at the tip. It is very pretty and really needs to be seen at its full elegant length and delicate colour.
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White Star Sedge


1 comment:

Nancy J. Bond said...

Your work is so extraordinary!

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