I spent the morning working on the biz side of the biz. Meeting with a stager, revising consignment agreements, responding to emails. It’s now lunchtime and then I get to play in the studio.
For the last few days I’ve had a particular painting on my mind. I won’t show it to you because I’m about to destroy it. What? Yes. Remove from existence. Even though it is “done” and has been sitting in the corner for months it’s time for it to go. The vibe is not right. I feel bad about saying goodbye. I even posted it on Instagram and got some positive remarks. But it’s on its way out. After lunch that is. It’s a large painting and I need some fuel.
I’m looking forward to the destruction.
Post Fuel: I pulled the painting out of the corner, set it on my table and began to torch. Heavy torching. This piece had many layers and I needed to soften it to be able to scrape off all the encaustic. Scraping is a rather soothing, satisfying feeling. Soft layers peel away. There’s a nuance to the technique. The correct angle of tool to surface, temperature of the wax and the amount of pressure will all determine how much or how little is pulled away. In the picture above you can see how much I was able to scrape away. Also visible are the many layers underneath the white surface.
When there are that many layers underneath, it’s a sign of things not quite falling into place. On this painting I ended up thinking my way out of it; which really didn’t work. It’s not what I thought it would be. It didn’t represent where I want to go with my art. But I had invested so much time and materials into the piece I had to see it through. It was a contrived ending, an easy solution that had no feeling. A “none of the above” response to a multiple choice question. Next.
The finish line is usually a lot further away than you think.
I scraped that panel for a good forty five minutes. What a joy to see that painting disappear. Paint a lot, scrape a lot. It’s all part of the process. No reason to hold on to it just because I used 15lbs of medium and spent weeks on the painting. Detach from the outcome. The more precious I held the materials and the paintings, the less free I was in the painting. Why did I wait so long? Why hang on to things that don’t bring joy?
A new painting is now emerging from that scraped panel. One that feels more like me. There is orange in it and that cheers me up quite nicely. At least until the next scraping…