Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Rework is a dreaded word in a factory but not in the art studio.
Definition: rework [riːˈwɜːk] vb (tr)

1. to use again in altered form the theme has been reworked in countless well-known poems
2. to rewrite or revise
3. to reprocess for use again
I worked for a large commercial printer years ago and we were all unhappy when we heard the word "rework". Usually something was printed that was not the right color or it  had been put together wrong. For whatever reason we had to rush through the process of re-printing the job and fixing the mistake to save our reputation. Not fun....

However, in my art studio I like to think of rework as the opportunity to make something better. I have a lot of paintings that just never made it into a frame because they were not ready for prime time.  Or maybe the paintings looked good to me when I finished them a couple years ago but now that my standards are a little higher I see things that could be improved. For whatever reason, I see the painting and I want to throw some more paint onto it. Sometimes I'll change the design and strengthen a focal point. Often it's a matter of creating some atmosphere by pushing the background farther into the background. If I can't bring the painting to a point where I am willing to sign my name to it I will throw it away. Some artists will use the canvas in a collage of leftover rejects but I have tried this and I don't recommend it for reasons I won't go into right now.
This is Nicole, a portrait I painted a couple years ago and one I was never quite happy with. She was fifteen years old at the time. I made a few adjustments over the weekend: a wardrobe change, a background change and a nose job. Now I'm happy with the painting. It may not be the same Nicole who modeled for me but it is a version I like better, one with a message of youth and innocence. The original red background was not a good choice for this theme but when you paint in a group as I do other artists' preferences can sometimes override your own.I had thought the red background too overpowering for this young girl, who seemed to project wholesomeness and good will. The beauty of oil paint is that you can make it what you want anyway.

1 comment:

scfinder said...

Great arts thank you