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Lost edges: An unexpected reward

New work: The Robles Sisters, 1971 Oil on wood, 10″ x 10.5″

Most of my summer has been spent outside of my studio but I did manage to – sell a small painting, receive an honorable mention and gain a few commissions related to the nostalgic theme that I’ve been exploring. I have also been slowly considering (again, summer) the best way to complete the above painting.

As a follow up on this painting (see prior blog post), I’ve determined that things did not come out as muted as I had hoped but I am not even slightly disappointed. I made a decision to move away from the neutral tonality that was initially intended and just made a colored painting. I suppose the lost edges (in the impressionistic sense, not the traditional) or fuzziness could be considered as muted, but only on the edges.

For a comparison, take a look at the painting below. Upon its completion I thought it looked cartoony and contrived. With some coaching from my youngest son and fellow artist Barbara Benedetti Newton, I decided to have another go (I also recall past Kimberly Trowbridge crits encouraging the smeary edge palette knife approach). The photo positioned at the header of this blog is the final rendering. Notice I did not fuzz-out the entire painting, only the figures. I felt as though some of that interior (curtain and sofa) needed to stay more intact to ground the overall composition. I think the final product is much more lively.

Left to right: Rosie, Becky, Me, and Nadine (Not quite yet in the oven, Pablo)

Fun fact: The wood surface I painted on came from my daughter’s remodeled kitchen. The original cabinetry is circa 1970-something and I decided the small shelves would make excellent painting surfaces. I also kept the original contact paper from the era adhered to the panel!

Funky contact paper, backside of “The Robles Sisters, 1971”

Original shelf cabinetry

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