What’s in my Studio? – Incomplete Paintings

For some time I’ve been thinking it might be useful to create a series of posts about the things in my studio that I find useful, and include a few tips along the way. The beginning of a fresh year seems a good day to sort out my studio, clear out the items I no longer need, and re-use some of the rest.

One thing I learned during my 100 Wash Challenge days, which was reiterated in a workshop with Jean Haines, was to keep a collection of washes waiting to be worked on. Over the years I’ve built up a fair collection, some of which have been around for a while.

Inspiration or innovation
Inspiration or innovation

Having a collection like this can be useful. If I’m blocked or lacking inspiration, looking through the collection can be a great way of getting started again. In some cases, looking at a wash with fresh eyes after a while away from it reveals something in the paint that strongly suggests a subject and a painting will emerge. This method is the antithesis of the planned painting. Instead, I view it as a fantastic way of unlocking creativity. Looking at a wash and asking myself, “what could I do with this?” generates some fresh ideas for paintings.

And then there are times when its helpful just to do a wash without intending to paint a complete picture. This is a good way of keeping up your stock of first washes. On January 1st I spent a couple of hours in my studio sorting, tidying and getting my ideas in shape for the coming year. This was my collection of washes and as some of them have been around for a while, it was time to do a rigorous clear out so I could make space to refresh the collection.

Sorting through the possibilities
Sorting through the possibilities

Here are the methods I will use to deal with these. They have been divided into groups with the following chritreia

– Have potential and have been put aside to be worked on directly
– Washed back to see if a fainter image could provide an underwash – some are successful some are not
– Lend themselves to being worked on in new media to create a mixed media painting
– Can be cut into smaller paintings and completed for Running With Brushes
– Viewed with fresh eyes, this work can’t be redeemed. In this case, I use the back of the paper to test colour intensity or combinations while I’m working on another painting. Nothing is wasted.

And now I have space for more new washes.

I hope you found this useful. The next What’s in my Studio post will be published in a week’s time.

6 thoughts on “What’s in my Studio? – Incomplete Paintings

  1. It’s a great idea to keep a stock of washes, Vandy. I’m going through my paintings today as well, and put them in folders. Have a great day!

  2. Must be that time of year for a clear out. Though never thought of keeping just washes before. Great idea. Thanks.

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