Old Dogs and New Puppies

Shelves sag and creak under an overlapping load of unfinished paintings. Plein air sketches, blocked in canvases, half covered panels, canvas boards. Almost-complete and almost-ruined pieces await their coveted time under the brush. Some almost done, others just begging a touch up, a quick fix of this or that. Nagging. Pleading. Get me done! Get me done!

In another part of the studio, there is a neat stack of pristine new canvases, lined up by size, smaller ones in tight shrink wraps, large ones in acid-free plastic bags. Noble. Entitled. They are the preferred stock. They know how I yearn to push paint over their crispy surface, how I long to cover them with layers of mesmerizing pigment. They don’t beg. They don’t plead. They demand!

What to do, what to do? What to do next?

That is the everyday dilemma in my studio.  I wish I had two of me, one working out new ideas, the other fixing up incomplete works. Did I mention I was a Gemini?

Yet another part of me wishes there was a market for unfinished stuff. Anyone?

I imagine an older sister stuck with a toddler brother, so I try to make a rule – one shall always go with the other. For every new painting on the easel, one of the oldies must get completed. Most of the time this works, but somehow, by some act of magic, the pile of oldies keeps growing and growing. Every once in a while I go through it and purge the hopeless ones (this is how parenting paintings differs from parenting real children), but there are still many that make the cut. Some will never grow up, but there might be some really neat idea in them, a lovely passage, cool brushwork, or just pure and simple good feeling that I get when I see them. So they stay on the shelf. Perhaps, maybe, one day I will do something with them.

Gabriola Sunset, 20x24, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

This one was hanging around for the past few years. There was something about it that bugged me but I wasn’t able to put my finger on it until a couple weeks ago when I needed it as an entry into a very interesting group show. I harmonized the color temperature, added some texture in the foreground and changed the shapes of clouds. I am calling it done!

As a reward, I can now work on a brand new piece, a spring scene with Mt. Rundle in the background. Stay tuned!

I wish you a blue sky with white fluffy clouds, and a little bit of rain!