Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Zig Zag Thru Midtown (again)

Zig Zag Thru Midtown II,  Acrylic  14x14"  Click to buy 
Have you ever finished a painting and then said to yourself - ' It works, but it's not what I was aiming for'.  That happens to me often enough, and it usually means I want the painting to have a looser, more abstract quality about it.  

Often before I start a painting, I will sketch it out in charcoal to get the basic drawing and proportions accurate. This is how I started the painting in my previous post from July 3. The only problem with this approach is that it can feel like I'm just "filling-in-the-lines", working in a coloring-book manner, which can feel constricting.  For this painting I decided to just jump in head first with paint, without working out the drawing first, and gradually "sculpt out" the shapes and whatever detail was necessary. This approach, to me, is much more engaging, and feels less mechanical. It forces me to work out the drawing while I'm painting, without the security of a safety net. It also makes me "react"more, stroke by stroke, to continually make choices about the balance of shapes and overall design. 

As I look at both paintings side by side, I'm not sure there is an obvious difference that I started them in completely different manners. But as the artist, my experience working on each was so different. I was more creatively engaged in the second one, and felt much freer in every way, including more freedom in color choices. 

In the end, for me, its about keeping the experience imaginative, fresh and somewhat unpredictable.  Which means experimentation and going outside my comfort zone... I suppose that translates into a higher liklihood of more pieces that "fail"... but how can one grow or have breakthroughs if they are not experimenting and taking risks? In other words, that old saying comes to mind... no pain, no gain.

10 comments:

Fay Terry said...

Great painting and very interesting post. I think the second painting has more Patti in it as well as more excitement. It actually shows how much you enjoyed the process. Taking painting risks is not easy, but we usually are glad we did. ( You taught me that in your workshop)

Patti Mollica said...

Thanks Fay - and great to hear from you!

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Patti, I LOVE the movement and actual 'thrill' I feel when I look at this painting. You risk it. You go, girl! Even if it didn't work out - you learn and you grow. I'm a big fan!

Patti Mollica said...

Kelley - thanks so much, you made my day!

Bruce Bingham said...

Hi Patti, I often feel the same way! Looking at these two paintings side by side is interesting because I love them both. But with this second one I do feel like you were more spontaneous with your color, broke some rules, and it gives me more unpredictable surprises while viewing. More like what a bike ride in New York traffic would feel like. Thrilling:)

Patti Mollica said...

Bruce you are the best. thanks for your kind words:-)

Sue Marrazzo said...

Another winner!

Sunny Avocado said...

Yep, the 2d one is better color-wise. But both terrific!

a power said...

I so agree with you and you put it so well into words. I also struggle between just going for it and following my instincts versus, measuring, getting the drawing right and then just getting caught up in getting it right...I do get a sens of LIFE and your engagement in the process with the second one! So much of painting seems to be getting to the point where we just trust that we know...

Patti Mollica said...

so true - i hate meauring, its feels so much better to put down a lot of loose shapes to start off with, than starting in that "coloring book" fashion. the final result is always much fresher when starting loosely.