Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rooster--Original American Animal Portrait

Here he is, the rooster that saved the canvas! Let me tell you how. When I paint larger paintings, sometimes I will work on a hand-stretched canvas because the quality is superior to purchased canvases. The difficulty is that it takes a lot of time to make the stretcher bars, stretch the canvas, and prepare the surface. I don't practice on my hand-stretched canvases, but save them for really special paintings. Now--how the rooster saved the canvas. This particular 18x24 inch canvas was to be the surface for a landscape painting that I had created in an 8x10 inch size and decided I liked it so much that I would enlarge it. The lesson I should have remembered is that not all small paintings work well in a larger format. I didn't consider the composition fully and recognize it was the color that attracted me. When I was finished, I didn't like the painting. It just didn't translate well into larger painting. I lamented a while, tried to alter it several times, and still didn't like the results. I painted over the entire painting, let it dry and had a new surface for a new painting. I painted a second landscape on the surface, but once again I didn't really spend the time I should have planning my design. A painting emerged that was not satifactory. I painted over the design. The blank canvas sat in my studio for weeks while I tried to decide whether to take the canvas off the bars, restretch, and begin with a fresh canvas. Then, in a moment of devil may care, I began to paint this rooster. The background of neutral grays, the texture left from the previous paintings, and his evil determination saved the day. He is going to hang in my studio for a while as a reminder to plan carefully and never give up.
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