A Painting in Three Parts

2014, oil on canvas, 48×60

THIS WAS my first attempt at a canvas this size (48×60). The scale takes some getting used to, yet I have limited room to store paintings this big.

I like its simplicity, but it didn’t evoke a strong enough feeling in me. I see a person prostrate doing pushups, but what does that mean? I don’t even like pushups.

The paint was thin. But the bones of a painting were there.

2017 oil on canvas, 48×60

THREE YEARS LATER I flipped the canvas and added a number of details that would become part of the final painting.

But it still didn’t hang together. The disparate elements were not vibrant enough or connected to each other, made into a harmonious whole.

HOLISM, oil on canvas, 48×60

THIS IS WHAT it looks like today after two weeks in my garage, where I worked on it almost daily. It now tells a different story.

While I may continue to tweak here and there, the painting feels done.

It remains mysterious, but is no longer random.

4 Replies to “A Painting in Three Parts”

  1. I completely enjoyed hearing about your process over a three-year period, Russell. Are there any similarities in your writing life when it comes to your emerging awareness over time and the editorial changes that get sparked?

  2. Thank you, Elena. It happens less often with writing, but it happens. I tend to revise my writing more in the moment, obsessing over every little change, and then letting go. Painting is more mysterious, and can take more time. I’ll be posting more about it this week.

    1. Thank you, Jan! It is a fascinating process. Sometimes things don’t work out as originally planned, no matter how much I try. Changing the orientation presents new opportunities for redemption!

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