I’ve taken a little detour over the last few days to revisit an old painting I’d been wanting to revamp for a while now.
I very rarely go back to old pieces and paint over them, but I’ve been known to do a few. This one, in particular, was done in 2003 and was part of my garment pattern series. It was early in the series and had a lot of significance to me. I don’t usually talk about what specific significance my art has to me—not in detail, anyway. I rather the viewer come up with their own narrative.
But I will say, during my process, with most of my work, I have a very different relationship with it than the relationship I have with it when it’s finally completed. I don’t have much of a relationship with it when it’s done. It no longer belongs to me anymore. It’s for the viewer. Before that, I am usually trying to work through the past and make something positive out of the negative.
With this painting, I did do that back in 2003, but something was still lingering. Whenever I looked at it, that past negative experience was still staring right back at me. I knew I had to give it another go.
This is how it looked from 2003 until last week. It was titled, Portrait of a Spoiled Head and was in this vertical format with all these colored sewing pins sticking out of it.
I’d glued those pins in there pretty good, and it took some muscle to carefully pull them out of there with a pliers, for about an hour or more. It was a relief to get them out because storing the pieces with pins sticking out of them are a pain in the ass anyway.
I pretty much knew what the composition was going to look like. I’d scribbled it into my little black moleskin sketchbook.
I knew I was going to turn it on its side and start from there. And this has been the work in progress, so far.
I’ve been working on it a little bit every day. Since it’s oil paint, I’m working on it slowly. Or maybe that’s just how I work. I also have to wait until certain parts dry (like the white stripes) before I can come back and touch things up.
I haven’t yet come up with a new title, but I feel it needs to be somewhat important. Well, not that important, but it needs to give me a feeling of satisfaction. So, I’m still thinking on that. It still need the last two colors, but this is fairly close to done now.
And that’s the scoop.