Monday, October 10, 2011

Revisit Your Work

Recently, I pulled out 4 pieces in a series called "Urban Activity".  All of these pieces were created for a specific show which required the work to be mounted on 8-inch squared canvas frames.  I created these mixed media quilted pieces, but two of them weren't really "finished" and I couldn't see what they needed.

I decided that the reason these two pieces were not pleasing to me was that there was no obvious focal point.  I added to each of them.  I am now very satisfied with them and believe that the general look of them, as well as their uniform size, unifies them if they are to be hung together, yet each can stand alone.
Here are the four pieces.  The last two were the ones I worked on.  Unfortunately, I cannot find a "before" image of the third piece before I added to it, but I will show the before and after of the last piece.

I added the 3 round objects on the right side of this piece.


After.  I added 3 vintage keys, which allows the eye to travel 
around in the piece.

Some things are worth re-working.  I wish I knew when to do this and when to walk away, but it is a good exercise to bring unloved pieces back to the studio and try to look at them objectively.
Do they have a good value scale?
Is there a focal point?

I am getting better at asking myself these questions on a regular basis, but sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees.  How about you?  Have you ever revisited a piece that you aren't satisfied with?


  1. Oh, I do that all the time. I often find myself in the same position - creating to a deadline. The pressure of the deadline sometimes makes it difficult for me to evaluate my work. Then, after the show, I can look at a piece with a more objective eye and see what it needs.

    Your pieces are great!

  2. I agree, Lisa! Sometimes the reason it is "finished" is really because it is "due"! LOL. Seriously, though, sometimes there is something nagging you about a piece, and often it will reveal itself during a revisit.


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