Friday, 20 November 2015

A Painting Makeover

Why on earth do I keep changing finished paintings? 

Good question.  

The best way I can explain it is that certain images have such a strong meaning for me, that the painting is not really about the image, but about the feeling I have about the place that inspired the painting. Feelings are complex and sometimes can't be pined down. Ideas keep coming and I keep exploring them. 

Why not just start a new painting? 

That's what I usually do, but sometimes it's just a few little things I'd like to change and it's too easy to put the painting back on the easel and keep working.

Of course, there is a danger of spoiling a perfectly good painting, but for an obsessed experimenter, that risk is rarely considered up front.

It is said that it's better to stop before one reaches the edge than step over it and fall into the abyss. Aim safe and stay safe. 

On the other hand, it's a painting, it isn't really an abyss. If we never step over the edge, how do we learn where it is?

BEFORE  / AFTER, North View From Seymour Mountain, by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

Hmmmm, now that I see them side by side like this, I got even more ideas what else I could change.

On a different note, it's time to start welcoming the winter with art!

FCA 2016 calendars with twelve months of inspiring art are available for order. I am December!

Lake Oesa, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

If you love film and art, and you can make it to Whistler in the first week of December for the 2015 Whistler Film Festival, you are up for a treat. 

There will be a lovely collection of paintings for viewing and purchase. I am preparing my contribution for the Whistler Film Festival Artists Gallery just now.

Paintings by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki at the 2015 Whistler Film Festival Artists Gallery

I hope that this November will surprise us with a few sunny days. If not, that's fine, it's always bright and warm in the studio.

Happy artsy adventures!


Thursday, 5 November 2015

Easel Monologue

On The Trail, 30x36, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

What to do when doubt starts gnawing at the easel legs, nibbling in the back of my mind and something round, heavy and cold nests in the pit of my stomach? 

Talk it through.

Dozen Tips for The Easel Monologue

1. Stop and look. 

2. What bothers you about this painting? Name just one thing.
  • Rest your eyes, then come back and observe your emotions. Your eye will lead you to the problem, but your empathy will try to hide it. Notice this.

3. What is it about that one thing that bothers you?
  • Does it kill the spirit of the piece?
  • What would happen if you accepted it for what it was?

4. Are you holding onto some preconceived idea?
  • Consider alternatives.
  • What is the most compelling one?

5. Is the painting evolving in a way you didn’t foresee?
  • Does the change in direction feel harmonious?
  • Embrace happy accidents.   

6. Are you fighting instead of developing? 
  • Does your fixation create an obstacle? 
  • Tactics are as important as strategies.

7. Are you giving this painting what it needs?
  •  It’s not about you, it’s about art. 
  • Give the painting what it needs, not what you need. That’s the deal.

8. Are you judging this painting by someone else’s criteria?
  •  Remember your mom saying how neat and well behaved the neighbor’s kid was? That’s what you are doing now.       

9. Are you afraid of your work's uniqueness?
  • It takes guts to stand alone when everyone else has picked a team.  
  • You've got guts.

10. Are you afraid of your work's familiarity with works of predecessors?
  • Your island is a part of an archipelago.
  • Cherish your work's family ties.

11. Can you see development in your work over time?           
  • That one brilliant early painting is not representative of your early skills.
  • That one painting you spoiled a few days ago is not representative of your present skills.

12 Do you love your work?             
  •  Yes.

Happy Painting!


Outside the studio