Here today

 

12.16.1, oil on canvas, 24x36

12.16.1, oil on canvas, 24×36

Untitled, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 36x24

Untitled, oil on canvas, 36×24 (2015)

HERE TODAY

Sometimes it is obvious when a painting is done. Other paintings evolve over time.

I always err on the side of painting too little rather than too much. It is easier to add than to subtract, and sometimes the strongest statements are made with the simplest of gestures.

Over time other paintings reveal flaws. The colors may appear flat, the composition may be off, the concept muddled. Not that an abstract painting has to be coherent or rationally understood, but in some cases it is best to move on, to seek higher ground, to attempt to pull the painting out of the abyss.

Sometimes simply turning a painting on its side leads to revelation.

Here some before and after photos of canvases I have recently returned to. As before, I now consider them done.

Seascape, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 16x12

Seascape, oil on canvas, 16×12 (2016)

12.16.2, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 16x12

12.16.2, oil on canvas, 16×12

Untitled, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 20x16 (2015)

Untitled, oil on canvas, 20×16 (2015)

12.16.3, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 20x16

12.16.3, oil on canvas, 20×16

Grotto, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 16x20

Grotto, oil on canvas, 16×20 (2015)

12.16.4, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 20x16

12.16.4, oil on canvas, 20×16

Rain, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 16x20

Rain, oil on canvas, 16×20 (2013)

12.16.5, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 16x20

12.16.5, oil on canvas, 16×20

 

 

Horizon, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 24x36

Horizon, oil on canvas, 24×36 (2015)

12.16.7, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 24x36

12.16.7, oil on canvas, 24×36

Untitled, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 18x24

Untitled, oil on canvas, 18×24 (2013)

12.16.8, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 18x24

12.16.8, oil on canvas, 18×24

Sun over water, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 24x36

Sun over water, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 24×36

12.16.9, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 24x36

12.16.9, oil on canvas, 24×36

Greens, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 20x16

Greens, oil on canvas, 20×16 (2015)

12.16.10, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 24x18

12.16.10, oil on canvas, 24×18

 

7 thoughts on “Here today

  1. Hi Russ,
    The overlay of new textures, colors and shapes make the images much more complex, but also offer the viewer new ways to make their way around your images. I love the before and after juxtaposition. Thank you for sharing and inspiring!
    Jan

    1. Thank you, Jan. It has been a wonderful exercise, and I have learned a lot. I am working on new canvases, but I may not be done revising yet!

  2. Hi Russell,
    I share the ideas of those who’ve written before me. The duos seem to move from simplicity to complexity. I’ve scrolled up and down a bunch of times trying to figure out if I like one or the other better, if there’s an inherent “improvement” from the first to the second and I concluded no. If I were buying, I’d want both. I wonder if you’ve ever gone in the other direction, from complexity to simplicity?

    1. You are so right. I mostly favor the newer versions, but some of my best work is the simplest. Who knows? The pendulum may swing again for some of these canvases and I make them simpler again. Yet I would not have posted them if I did not think they were done.

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