Yesterday my copy of Between Two Kingdoms arrived. The author, Storyteller Joe Boyd, has blogged about how many revisions he made to his book and how it felt like he was sending his child off to college once it was finished. Probably many artists from many genre are this way about their creative work. I certainly am with specific paintings and really regret with having parted with a few of them.

This painting from last summer went through several revisions itself. It began as a watercolor batik on rice paper but is now a mixed media painting on rice paper, mounted on a wrapped canvas. It, along with a couple of other paintings, left home this week for an art show that opens this Friday in Oakley at The Red Tree Gallery, east of downtown Cincinnati.

Some may prefer the original look of the painting - see first draft posted below - but it's long gone - now covered with more watercolor, fluid acrylics, caran d'ache crayons, and some ink. The original dark border was so inhibiting, and the pattern of lights and darks in the original was too weak to capture the eye. The arch on the right appeared too dominant, and the beautiful stone wall by the steps seemed like a fussy soldier, nearly forbidding entrance up the steps.

Those were my thoughts when I began to play with the adjustments. It also seemed to need something personal in it, too, something alive other than plants. Now there's a fairly obscure woman looking out of one of the windows. Putting someone walking up the steps seemed like the obvious thing to do and too predictable, too. A cat might have been nice somewhere perched on a step???

Sacrifices of some of the good parts of a work of art are often necessary to make the whole piece pull together. That's what happened here. No longer is this so obviously a watercolor batik, but hopefully, the painting is stronger. While I totally loved the glow in the original,- shown here to the left with the dark border - the impact of the revised painting above tells the story so much better of the ancient buildings and passages in a charming village on Lake Como.

If you are interested in seeing the original with its initial revisions done this past July click HERE. Have a great week!

"COMO COUNTRY" Transparent Watercolor and Hot Wax on Kinwashi, with Sumi Ink, Fluid Acrylics, Caran d'Ache Crayons, mounted on Wrapped Canvas 18 x 24"


Christiane Kingsley said...

Both versions are very stunning. The black border in the original,although beautiful, may have been somewhat restrictive,especially in terms of framing the artwork.

When you have time, could you elaborate on your use of Caran D'Ache crayons - do you use them dry and then activate the color with a wet brush? How do they differ from watercolor?

Good luck at your new show.

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Christiane. You could compare the crayons to a really high grade form of watercolor pencils and use them the same way. They're made of the same pigments as watercolor but put into a crayon form. I use them mostly to embellish or add a scribble effect. On YUPO with fluid acrylics, I try them out to see if I want to commintt to a change, then erase them off with water. Give them a try as an addition to a painting sometime.

Myrna Wacknov said...

Hi Sandy, I think adding the warmer colors and other adjustments made a stronger image. The focal point glows, now! Clever idea to use Caran D'Ache as a trial change! I don't think I would have thought of that. Thanks for the tip.

Chris Beck said...

Love the newest version, Sandy! It hangs together and is very inviting -- lovely color too!!

Unknown said...

it is like any moment I will run op those stairs, and turn to the left, and be in a place i know. they are both beautiful.