Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"I am only beginning to understand. I should start all over again." Pierre Bonnard

Trying to finish a batch of paintings this month. Wondering if a painting is ever finished.

At left is Bonnard's, The Table, (image from DevilandEgg.blogspot.) Why do I like that front table edge so much? I love the tilting-forward out of whack perspective and the strength of all that white on the tablecloth. Like so many of his, the figure seems incidental, like just one more object in the room. Each object is just beautiful to look at on its own as well as in its relationship to the other shapes and colors.

Apparently, even Bonnard couldn't leave well enough alone. According to Julian Bell in Bonnard, the artist would take his friend Vuillard with him to museums where Bonnard's paintings were hanging. Vuillard would distract the guard for a few moments while Bonnard would sneak over, take out a hidden paintbox, and fix something that had been bothering him.

Are you disciplined about not over-working a painting? Do these corrections usually work or do you sometimes make things worse? I don't always follow my own advice, but it helps sometimes to think about the change I might want to make for an extra day or two.

We are taking a few vacation days so I won't be able to make unnecessary fussy changes for a short while!

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