Friday, December 2, 2011

Burn Your Bad Work? No, Just Repaint

Yellowstone (after cropping and repainting) 6.75" x 12" - acrylic.

Ever wonder what to do with all those old illustrations laying around your studio? you know the ones that were so specific and had so many dead areas left for type that they are practically useless? I have burned a few bad ones over the years, but rather than torching them all and having the fire brigade on my doorstep, I have started cropping and repainting them. I have a collector friend that has been buying a piece from me every Christmas for the last few years. Last year I pulled out a few candidates for him to choose from and he found one he liked. Well sort of liked. He wanted me to paint out the figure of the hiker. I happily complied and was pleased with the results which I posted earlier here. This got me thinking of how many useless pieces I have laying around. Those paintings that have good elements, but that are not really suitable to hang on your wall, nor are they attractive enough to put in your portfolio or resell.

Here is the painting after I cut it down

I figured I could crop, repaint or collage elements from one of these otherwise bonfire worthy pieces and turn it into something good. There are thousands of hours of work collected in my flat file and it seems dumb to waste these paintings, so I think I'll be doing more of this in the future. This time, I found one that needed some serious cropping and repainting to make it wall worthy.

Tape lines indicate where I wanted to crop

Here is how it looked before I started reworking it and re assembled with it's original parts after. At least half of the picture area was blank because of type restrictions the publisher placed on me. In this new version, the moose got exiled from his habitat since he didn't fit the new vision. Also, the sky got completely revised as did many of the trees and the thermal pool on the left. In the end, a piece that was practically worthless before now will have an honored place on my collector's home office wall.


Mike Blake / Monisawa said...

Depending on how much you would charge, I would definitely be interested in a "re-paint" or even one that might need repainting, but still looks good (which is probably all the ones that you would burn).

Amy said...

New life for an old painting! I love it...but I felt a bit bad for the moose who lost his habitat....