Monday, June 27, 2022

Everything Old Is New Again

I keep the watercolors I haven't framed for sale in page protectors in some big, thick binders (along with the practice work in my sketchbooks). Every now and then I look through them, partly for a little boost to see how I've improved, and sometimes, to see how I can improve upon the original work. The ones below date back to 2016.

Sometimes it improves -- and sometimes, I'm not so sure it does. So I do it again!

Not long ago, I pulled out my mixed media sketchbook with work in it that dates back to 2015. I was on a quest for the page based on this photograph, taken in Giverny as we walked from Monet's beautiful home toward the cemetery where he was buried. I loved this beautiful wall.


So, I painted it. And hated it. And did it again and again and again. Four times.


It was time to see if I could do it better, several years later. Frankly, I'm not it's any better! That gate remains the problem -- an absolute terror to paint! (I might have to do it again.)

 Then there was this from my plein air painting day.

Now, light moves. The water did look as dark as above when I started. But by the time I photographed it when I left, it looked like this!

So, I did it over, using the photo more as a guide.

There they are, side by side -- and I find myself liking parts of one and parts of the other... 


Will I do it again? Maybe. I'm not sure I like the subject enough to be spending the time on it.

I leave you with one more re-do. Remember this? I did it last summer when Rick was in the hospital for his kidney stone surgery. This was the view from his room. It's very flat.

 

So, this winter I added to the original. A little better.


But not right. So, here is it with a little of my new favorite bleedproof white for some sparkles, a little more definition of the peninsula in the back and enhanced clouds. What do you think? Should I finally stop fussing?

It's not the best of anything I've ever done anyway, so maybe I should just move on!

 

Sharing with:     Love Your Creativity   /   Rain's Art Date  /   /   Pink Saturday  

60 comments:

Yvonne said...

I really admire your ability to rework an old art piece to try a different approach. I seem to have no patience for that anymore. Of course, for me a story is different. I'll rewrite and rewrite until I get it right in my mind, but when it comes to art, I just move on to the next subject. Sometimes I have taken a blog post I have written, and instead of publishing it, just deleted the whole mess and started over again. I'm always happier with the newer creation. I think it's marvelous that you actually visited Monet's garden. Lucky lady.

Linda Sue said...

these are all so fun, I love seeing the same thing but not the same thing done over. I never have patience to one thing twice. Your orange kitty is fabulous, too!!

Pamela said...

I always like seeing your water colors. You are quite talented!

Lynne said...

I have a few pieces that I repeat as “do overs!”
And I have some pieces that others like and
I do them again and again
and each one I do turns up different!

I know one thing . . . Your Eiffel Tower is the best!

Valerie-Jael said...

It's always hard to rework pieces. So I usually don't, I prefer to just try again. Have a great week, hugs, Valerie

Sue in Suffolk said...

They are 500% better than I could do! and I bet a lot of others will say the same.

DUTA said...

I wouldn't try to improve. The first impression is the lasting one.
Anyway, you seem to be very organized with your works of art.

Iris Flavia said...

Wow, I really have no idea what you do not like about all these!!!
They are beautiful!
I still did not dare to even start.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,
I think your art work is beautiful. Are you hard on yourself, I can see you have improved. Take care, have a great day!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

A second chance at many things is good! We don't always get a second chance, however. Can you image what a few Van Gogh discards would be worth today? Maybe I'll sneak into Michigan and rain your waste basket, Jeanie.

Rita C at Panoply said...

It's very interesting to see the differences among each of your efforts and how you point out your trouble spots, etc!

My name is Erika. said...

I love seeing all your artwork Jeanie. I also like how you rework or redo them when you're not happy with them. It's the best way to learn, isn't it? And its good to go back and try new things to see if they "fix" what isn't how you want it to be. I do the same thing. And it feels good to make a piece better. Hope you're enjoying sun and nice temperatures at the lake. hugs-Erika

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I don't draw or paint, so I am in awe of everything you work on. Sometimes rework improves the painting. I like the trees and the water side by side. Nice comparison between plein air and photo.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

I think all of your watercolors are lovely. I have not repainted a piece of art, but I have painted gesso over some and started over!

La Table De Nana said...

I love painting!You do too and it shows!!The lake seems like the perfect place☺️

Dixie @ Arranged Words said...

Lovely artwork, Jeannie. I especially love the Eiffel Tower and the orange cat.
It's always fun to experiment and see what happens. I have also
reworked art work and tried the same subject many times over. Often a challenge, but also a great way to learn and let go.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I love how persistent you are, trying to get the results you want. Your are such an inspiration.

Nancy said...

Your paintings are beautiful and painting at the lake sounds perfect! Re-working your paintings can be fun but… I love them the way they are.
Have a beautiful 4th of July my friend! ❤️πŸ€πŸ’™

Dawn said...

I take watercolor classes so am always interested in your painting posts. I think you do a great job. You're too hard on yourself.

Marilyn Miller said...

The song "Let it Be" comes to mind. Sometimes we have just got to let it be. On the other hand I like that you try and try again. Each is lovely in it's own way.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

We are our worse critics. I like gate number 2. Practice always makes perfect....LOL Love your paintings.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, you are too hard on yourself I think most of us are that way. I always love your paintings and never see a do-over being necessary. But, I also know it must be a great pleasure to step back and know that it is your best work. I can imagine how fun it is to paint at the lake. Enjoy these last days of June!

DVArtist said...

Wow! Really wonderful art. You have a true talent. Thank you for sharing it all with us.

Joanne Huffman said...

I like the originals and I like the redos. My judgement is not hampered by what I think it ought to look like (that's the thing that always interferes with my evaluation of my own work; and, may I suggest, you may have the same issue). I think redoing a piece is a good exercise for improving techniques; but I don't to it very often. I tend to take pieces from the old work and make them into something new rather than to redo them. I aways love to see your art. You have a lot more self-discipline than I do. And, I think you have a very good eye.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I think you are too hard on yourself, too! But I am very hard on myself so can relate. I think everything you shared is beautiful. For the Giverny ones, I like the gate in the bottom left best - I think less is more when it comes to that gate? But all of your attempts are beautiful and I'd be thrilled to be able to paint as well as you. I am just awful at art - but have other talents so that is ok. But I love to see what others can do.

I do think adding the white to the hopsital view painting helped!!

gigi-hawaii said...

It's rewarding to improve a painting. It's like editing a book prior to publication. Gigi hawaii

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Hello, Jeanie. While I am certainly not qualified to judge art, I do know what I like. I will say I believe you are way too hard on yourself. The last photo is great, frame it and do something new and different to you.

So happy you are at the lake - Enjoy!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I can understand you wanting to "do-over" a painting, Jeanie. I think that this is true of many creative-focused people. It happens to myself, not with artwork, but with photography. ASs for your question about should you let the last watercolor "go" I think you have already decided that for yourself.

Divers and Sundry said...

This sounds like the perfect way to track progress. You seem to have set a high bar!

Victoria Zigler said...

There's always a point where you have to move on. Personally I know if I went back to re-do anything I'd done I'd never be satisfied, so I avoid doing so. I know there are things I could do better if - for example - I rewrote some of my earliest published works, but if I started going back through fixing what I think should be fixed I'd spend forever doing that. Just take the lessons you learned and apply them to the next project.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

the 5 versions of the fence is fascinating - I see improvement in the greenery as you progress and the fence perspective changes some too - I think the photo is not a great one to paint. I know you love that fence but the angle of the photo is really hard to do I think. Sorry - I'm not even an artist. You know I love all your work!

R's Rue said...

So pretty my friend.

William Kendall said...

Lovely art.

Jenn Jilks said...

You are so inspiring!

Prims By The Water said...

Well they al look very impressive to me as I could not even come close to doing any of these as well as you do. Janice

This N That said...

Once I paint something..it's done..I find that the more I fuss..the worse it gets..All my stuff is copied.. have no original thoughts..I rarely do something twice..mostly tutorials..learn a lot!!

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Jeanie,
I am with you on gates. They are very difficult. My problem is keeping a steady hand. I believe your gate is better than what I would produce.

Next one down, side by side landscape with water. I think I am partial to the one on the right.

The last painting, view from Ricks room in the hospital. No more fussing!
I think it turned out beautiful! Love the clouds and sparkle in the water.
I believe this is my favorite.
I so enjoy viewing your artwork.
Have a great week.
blessings,
Penny

Anvilcloud said...

While I like to think that my photography is improving, I find earlier photos that I did very well. Sometimes I can do better but sometimes not. Sometimes it is a matter of mood too. Maybe I preferred color then but now b&w. Or vivid then but more muted now. Who knows about tomorrow?

Steve Reed said...

I'm sure all the tweaking helps you refine your technique and become more familiar with all the possibilities. Even if whatever painting you're working on at any given moment isn't quite what you'd hoped, you've learned from it.

Bill said...

I like these paintings the way they are. It's good to look back and notice how much you improved. Happy painting!

Miss Val's Creations said...

It is wonderful to see the changes between each piece of the same subject. The gate does seem really tricky but I think version 3 and the latest one are beautifully done. The new details of the boats add some whismy. You are very talented Jeanie!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jeanie, I really like the last photo so think you must be improving but, to be honest, I can't see there is much improvement needed. For me, it is so hard to see improvement and I am always searching for that ONE! It is like the grass being greener and the next one will be perfect but it hasn't happened yet. I think you are smart revisiting what you have done before and striving for improvement. For some unexplained reason, I am still looking for the perfect sunflower so am revisiting that one a lot. I will show them sometime..Happy Summer my friend..xxoJudy

Danielle L Zecher said...

I think you're doing a lot better than you're giving yourself credit for. It's so easy to only see the flaws in our own work. I actually like the first version of the gate the best.

Is the orange kitty Gypsy?

Sandra Cox said...

Your water colors are amazing. The few times I've dabbled, I've had to do the same piece several times to get close to the results I want.

Joyful said...

I love your persistence in learning the art of painting. I also love the view from Rick's hospital window. It would make convalescing more pleasant to see that view.

shoreacres said...

I really like your last version of the view from Rick's room. It seems somehow livelier. You're not the only one who revises and revises, of course. Every time I repost something from the past on my blog, it's been edited in one way or another; generally, I think it's better, and no matter how it's received, if I'm satisfied with the 'new' version, that's good enough. I know what I did to improve it, and if I'm lucky, I'll remember what I did the next time around!

Breathtaking said...

Hello Jeanie;:=) You are a gifted lady, and your work looks fine to me, but as the saying goes, Practice makes Perfect, and it's true. The more you do, the more you discover about the art of painting. I have not painted in many years, but wish I had the energy to do it, so keep trying to improve, and you will.

I started blogging yesterday, but still have pain when I breath in deeply.your lovely well wishes were most appreciated. Thank you.:=)

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

This is a wonderful way to paint...almost like doing revisions in writing. Plus, you have the added benefit of being awash in a swirl of memories as you work.

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

I know we are our own worst critics, but I think the wall at Giverny paintings are beautiful! I like your determination to try to rework the ones you aren't happy with.

The French Hutch said...

I find loveliness in all of your paintings Jeanie. You certainly are talented..........

It's me said...

Beautiful…love your paintings !!…Woww you are a real artist love from me Ria and Leaf πŸ€πŸΎπŸ’—πŸ€

Carol @ The Red Painted Cottage said...

I have to say I’ve never reworked any of my paintings. But I do something that I don’t think you’re doing. I do paint some of my paintings totally free hand, but most are quite detailed and in those cases I sketch first and use a kneaded eraser to adjust my sketching. Many watercolor artist sketch on their paper and some use a light box. When I taught a class on painting a foxes face, I handed out a sketching of it ahead of time for those who wanted to use a light box or try sketching it on their own. Just a suggestion for your gate.

Lisbeth said...

Great paintings. I do understand it sometimes takes time to get it right. Only wish I could do some painting myself, but alas. Must be wonderful to visualise places you have been and seen.

thepaintedapron.com said...

It's fun and scary to look back at old work, but I often have a change of heart and think that's better than I remember it being πŸ˜‚ We are our own worst critics! I admire you for repainting the same subject, I don't often have the patience for that!
Jenna

Lowcarb team member said...

I always enjoy seeing your paintings.

All the best Jan

Carola Bartz said...

The first thought that came to my mind was "Jeanie, don't be so hard on yourself. Stop listening to your inner critic!" I know, easier said than done.
Of the first paintings I actually liked version 1 the best, and I can see how that gate can be a total terror. Not easy at all. I'm not sure which one of the forest with the lake I like better, they are so different because of the light. And of the last one - yes, I think you should stop fussing (even though I don't like the word "should"), it is so beautiful the way it is.

DVArtist said...

Well I just love your style of art. I hope you link to Friday Face Off. Any kind of faces are OK. Stop by and check it out. Have a great day.

Andrea @ From The Sol said...

You make me chuckle ... is it perfection you are looking for? I have to say, I would have been happy with all of your first times though I can see your improvements ... perhaps it makes you happy to see that your can improve. So no, you never need to move on, Art is your gift, do as you please. These are all lovely and I am thinking maybe I need to look into some tutorials and find a path to improvement :) Life is good, Jeanie and you certainly know how to enjoy it :)

Andrea @ From the Sol

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Your watercolors are fantastic, Jeanie! I've always found perspective challenging to achieve in painting, and I can commiserate with you about trying a picture over and over to get it right. I usually gave up and painted something more two-dimensional. I've seen some tutorials on Instagram which have been interesting but I have not picked up my watercolor brush in a long time...hopefully I will be inspired to try again.

Rain said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful paintings Jeanie! Your Eiffel Tower is just stunning!!!! I love the plein air painting too! I love what you did with the view from Rick's room painting! Don't be so hard on yourself! You created a lot of movement there! ♥♥♥

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