"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cutting things up

     Waiting for the results of my submission to the A.I.R. show in NY and that won't be until mid August. Meanwhile I have two upcoming outdoor shows to get ready for and an exhibit in Qualicum Beach. The "Girl in a Garden" piece went down to the Qualicum Beach show at the TOSH (The Old School House Gallery) last week and will be part of the "Pastel by Invite" show starting July 18th. The first outdoor show is next Sunday; the small Art in the Park we have up here in Sayward every year. This is held on the grounds of the Fisherboy Resort, which now has new owners who are willing to keep the art show going, at least for now. It is not terribly well attended but enough tourists show up to make it worth the attempt to be seen! I usually sell a number of art cards and last time actually sold a pastel painting. It is also good practice for the rigamarole involved in setting up the tent and exhibit walls. There is live music and the Fire Dept. has a food booth; there are face painters and craft vendors. I actually enjoy doing it every year as there isn't a lot of pressure. The other outdoor show is a bigger affair; the Originals Only show at the marina in Comox next month. That is two days and requires much more planning. Fortunately part of the fee includes paying for overnight security so we can all leave our tents set up. As long as the wind doesn't whip up too much from the ocean it can be quite pleasant. Last time it rained a lot too. It's one of those times one could wish for the weather controlled domes we used to hear about for the "future" when we were kids...

Above is a pastel I did over two years ago and exhibited in the Originals Only; it got flipped over in the wind and the frame's glass broke. I had done some Poppy paintings before that sold well but this one was too contrived, too overworked and just not very exciting. It finally hit me yesterday that it is not a very good painting. I did it on Wallis, that very expensive pastel paper, which is white and quite rough. It does not suit my temperament in any way, there is  a lot of it left and I should just give it to someone. It is museum quality archival, though. I love Canson's Mi-Tiente Flannel Gray and some of the other gray tones...the smooth side. It gives me the effect I'm after and my experiments with other pastel papers and boards have left me very frustrated, although the Spectrum pastel boards aren't bad. The Canson's is supposed to be acid free, so I hope it holds up well over time as I really do like it's surface.

Back to this pastel though; I am going to cut it up in small sections and sell it off that way. The cropped parts look so much better, but even so it will take a moment of courage to actually perform this surgery. Once started I won't look back and I will be rid of the sense of dissatisfaction I have always had whenever I looked at this piece. 

     See, that is much better. I can probably manage four or five small pieces that will mat up nicely and sell for a very reasonable price - under $50 I think.

      Once these shows are finished I DO want to begin that series I have had in mind for how long now? About ten years?? What keeps me from it? I always allow myself to be distracted. It is that I fear committing to something that will take a long time, a fair amount of cash, and might turn out to be nothing very special. Ah, please, Karen. At your age why should you mind? Everything will be gone in a million years anyway...nothing is permanent...just enjoy the ride.


  1. I love the way you are cropping this piece. Perfect! Pastels are so gorgeous, but such a pain to frame and move around. I started with pastel, moved on to oil to cut out the framing issues and never went back to pastel. I do miss that glorious sparkle that only a pastel will have.

  2. The croppings are wonderful, Karen. What a great idea to sort of recycle larger paintings that weren't quite what you imagined they'd be. I have lots of those.
    Carol B.

  3. I find that with every show, there is something you take away with you. It may not be much cash or prizes but there seems to always be something someone said or someone you meet that makes it worth it in the end. I miss outdoor shows but as you mentioned, wind whipping tent, etc..I decided years ago to do only indoor shows. But, having said that, there is nothing like the ambiance of an outdoor show.

    I love poppies and yours are so bright and cheery. They are bound to sell or bring smiles all around.

  4. Hi Karen,
    Ah, you are on to one of my favorite things to do on an "off" day in the studio. There is somethings healing about making something from nothing. I really like how you chose to divvy up your larger piece and think they will be a hit at the show! I wish you every success at your outtings.

  5. The crop is really going to be perfect, but honestly I like the original too! I love the way you paint with pastels, it's just gorgeous. Good luck with getting into the show and all your other doings! You are one busy lady!

  6. Cut and crop - you are a gutsy lady! Petite or whole, they are little gems!

  7. Hi, Karen,

    I think cropping this piece is a great idea. It really emphasizes the beauty of the individual flowers;

    I also like the periwinkle blue with the bright poppy orange.

  8. cropping is a brilliant idea! and no matter how many folks say it's a lovely painting, if you don't see it that way it just ain't. and it is a lovely painting, both cropped and whole! good luck with the shows and getting going with that project. your reasons for going ahead with it sound perfect to me!

  9. Really nice paintings!
    And congratulations, you are now on "Artists to Watch" list on our blog!