Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Patch It Up...

Not too long ago, I got Lilla Rogers' book I Just Like To Make Things. In it, she had a few creativity exercises, and I fell in love with this patchwork looking one! She had us pick several of our favorite colors and then fill in the squares with them. I was so ecstatic with the results, I wanted to use the idea in a real painting.

So I divided a 16"x20" wood panel into 4"x4" squares and went to town. I wanted to keep the colors a bit more muted, so that whatever (or whoever) I painted over top would stand out.

I used the same techniques from my last painting... only this time I used my dominant hand (Spoiler Alert! I actually liked the left handed one better!) But the very dry brush strokes and multiple layers still came through and I love all the scritchy-scratchy detail that produces.

I decided to make her dress black so that it would pop over the pastel background. It worked!

And I ended up giving her a black mouse-eared hat just to balance things out. Of course once I made the hat, it felt like too much black.... and so I emblazoned it with my own little pink mouseketeer logo to create some visual distraction.

Typically when I think I'm done, I'll prop my painting up on the living room couch — opposite where I sit to watch TV. I'll glance over at it every once in awhile to see what I like and what I don't. So after staring at it for hours, I went back and added some shadows, and lightened some areas too. It was still a little scary as the Recovering Perfectionist in me didn't want to mess it up.

But the longer I stared at it, the more I saw things I wanted to change. So if it's a choice between leaving it as is (and not being happy), or trying something else to improve it (even if I don't like it)... why not just continue to improve it? And even though she's done... I still see things I'm going to change... and I'm not scared to do it!

Talk about patching things up!

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michelle renee bernard