One of many that got away.

bad painting

I produce about 24 drawings a year. They don’t all turn out well, which is neither surprising nor heartbreaking. This piece is a dud. The composition was dramatic with beautiful color and familiar material – I’ve drawn a lot of nasturtiums over the years – but the final product failed the “can this leave the house?” test, so it went to the Strawberry Hill Transfer Station rather than the gallery.

In order to pass the test, the painting must be entirely “meant”. van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” passes the test – every passage is approached with the same degree of confidence and finish. The viewer doesn’t doubt the wall behind or the surface (a table?) beneath the vase and flowers. The painter didn’t piddle off in the corner, where he wasn’t sure how to indicate a further room. A great painting might be drawn badly (Velasquez drives me nuts) but the passage is carried through like a knife though water – we are unfazed by any discrepancy.

Tonight I have a small crystal bowl full of huge purple blackberries to start on; we’ll see where it ends up.

3 thoughts on “One of many that got away.

  1. Ah but Blackware with Porfolio more than makes up for it. It is gorgeous. I was talking to Keith about it, wondering how the same person could paint the carnival and that.

  2. Amy … I’ve been reading all this … recipes, bees, paintings for the past few hours and I LOVE it! Thank you so much for all of it. I’m gonna keep reading the old posts and looking for new ones as well.

  3. bad painting is really just opinion. I think velazquez is great, and also another artist that didn’t really seemed entirely bothered by all of the surroundings of the subject matter is toulouse-lautrec.

    his prints and drawings really just focused on highlighting a particular part of the drawing or painting, the rest was just meant to be ambiguous backdrop. i prefer this style, who cares if every part is ‘just so.’

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