In yesterday’s post I mentioned one piece of art that had gone through so many different stages it needed it’s own blog post just to show them all. Well, today’s the day! I know it had to have been at least three years ago when I began this piece. It’s traveled from my home studio, to a not-at-home studio and back again. It’s sat on tables, in corners, in storage tubs and various other places during it’s life. One place it’s never been is hung on the wall! 😉 I feel like I may, finally, be approaching that stage! The original design was created with acrylic gel, tissue paper, a photo image and paint. It got this far and then I was stumped:

work in progress, image 1 (c) Lynne Medsker

This is how it’s looked up until this summer when I drug it out of hiding and began to work with it again. I had tried to figure out a way to salvage the tree image but it just wasn’t going to work and I was tired of it just sitting and waiting for me. SO, on went some paint:

work in progress, image 2 (c) Lynne Medsker

That really didn’t thrill me so during a play date with an artist friend, I threw some mortar on top of the piece to see what some different texture would do for it.

work in progress, image 3 (c) Lynne Medsker

Well…now I’d done it! I was 1/2 way back to a blank, textured canvas again. 🙂 Nothing to do but keep putting layers of paint on and see what happened. Unfortunately, this is what happened:

work in progress, image 4 (c) Lynne Medsker

Ack! Color overload! I tried toning it down with some darker colored inks and stains.

work in progress, image 5 (c) Lynne Medsker

Well, I suppose that’s better but it’s still not at all what I was wanting. It just didn’t feel like it had a good flow/composition. Hmmmm. Well…time to go back to a “blank” canvas again!

work in progress, image 6 (c) Lynne Medsker

Okay, it’s not entirely blank, I purposely left some of the colors peeking out here & there when I painted over the surface with gesso during my studio time on Wednesday.  The next step was to define some of the shapes with a thick, black pencil and then start adding some color.

work in progress, image 7 (c) Lynne Medsker

So far, so good! Prior to this stage I’d been working on it with a different orientation. Once I flipped it this direction it started coming around! I continued to add color to different areas and eventually could “see” where it was going.

work in progress, image 8 (c) Lynne Medsker

Woo hoo! I continued to play with it, adding color, darkening pencil lines, adding details in different sections and generally just fussing with it until the sun went down. This is how it currently looks:

work in progress, image #9 (c) Lynne Medsker

I am finally pleased with it! I may add a few more small details, shadows or highlights but I am almost certain I won’t be painting over it again. 🙂 What a journey this one was! Sometimes the more difficult ones are more memorable, too. I won’t look at this piece without thinking of the path it took, rather like my own, with stops & starts, do overs and experiments all to reach this very point.

Life really is like art!