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Monday, June 10, 2013

How Long Does It Take To Paint A Painting?

Yes, I have talked about this before...

Original Art by Pamela Hunt Lee
Kayaking Into The Rocks

However I have run into an interesting situation, one that has helped me understand something you might see in a museum or art gallery.  And what has just happened in my studio may help you understand this as well.

So, how long does it take to paint a painting?  Artists are asked this over and over again.   I truly believe it has taken a life time of doing what ever one has done before to get to the point of creating what ever it is that was just created.  That explanation is not always readily accepted though it is true.  But what about those paintings that sit in the studio, unfinished.  Or what about the painting that was completed and then worked on again some time later.

This is exactly what just happened to me.  I completed a painting several years ago, about ten years ago.  It has been exhibited and just recently returned to my studio.  During those ten years, between the completion of the painting and its return, my work has changed, evolved, moved in new directions.  I see the world and my inspiration differently.  I portray my inspiration a bit differently than I did ten years ago.  So when this painting came back into my studio I felt compelled to work on it again knowing I could ruin it and knowing I could improve it.  I had never done this before because I think that once something is done, it is done, leave it alone.    Oh boy.....brush in hand, I tackled the work, changing what had been there, working to improve the painting.

So what is it we see in museums and galleries that I refer to at the beginning of this post?  It is information given about the artist and the work.  The date a work was created is typically on the descriptive tag next to a painting, and sometimes that date spans several years.  I have always wondered about this.  Why so many years?  Well, now I have one answer to this question and now this particular painting will have the date listed as 2003-2013.  And I guess if I am asked how long it took to create this painting my answer may be: ten years.

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