Yesterday we had a critique on paintings that several people brought along to the art group. I still find it extremely interesting how paintings can be "fixed" or improved by something as simple as removing a tree or darkening a background. I had taken along my "Celtic Mandala" painting completed for the New Zealand Art Guild Awards earlier this year. I was still unhappy with parts of the work as I felt they didn't gel with the main focus which was the Celtic Cross. I came away with several great possibilities to try and spent last evening an hour cutting out pieces of paper and placing them on the canvas, trying to work out whether adding decoration would improve the painting or just make it too fussy and busy.
Sometimes it is very difficult to know when to stop work on a painting. You can overwork a picture to the point that it can appear very technically proficient but aesthetically dead. Probably why I tend to work on tight deadlines- a lack of time removes the ability to do too much damage. Maybe it's a type of perfectionism that causes artists to keep coming back and back to a work, trying to make it better and better but really just making a right mess. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is something you only acquire with practice and experience.
I finished three more cat brooches this week. They look slightly Indian with the bright and sometimes clashing colours edged with gold but I am enjoying experimenting with so many different shades and patterns. The older I get the more attracted I am to "shiny".
I took them along to art group and it was interesting to see who liked what. My friend Gine favoured the subtle green feline whereas others loved the red and pink of this jazzy individual.