When its okay to ditch a failing painting

I genuinely had good initial vibes from this set of paintings. Combining the mythical energies of Greek mythology along with the temple ruins that I saw in Rhodes. Perfect match you would think. I even researched it fully reading various books and googling Greek art, temples, Gods, etc, etc.

Except for when it came to putting all the individual pieces of my ‘canvas jigsaw’ together it soon became clear that my paintings weren’t actually that strong enough. For many reasons they just weren’t right.

For one, my compositions were visually flawed. My handling of space was impaired and the solidarity of the statues didn’t seem correct. Perhaps it was also the more vertical size (100cm x 50cm) of my canvases that I was trying for a change. My brushstrokes were too heavy and energetic, projecting storms, winds and gales rather than the soft, gliding pearlised mists of clouds and heavenly space I wanted. There were plenty of lines and I liked my depiction of the ancient temples but the surrounding elements of depth and lack of airiness completely undermined what I was trying to achieve. 

My ‘unique’ aspect of different parts of Colossus entering the canvas around the edges of the paintings - a hand holding a disintegrating temple, a leg strident across the earth as an acropolis floats in the sky, a magnificent torso steadfast next to an ancient temple and the stern gaze of Colossus as it overlooks one of its once powerful Pantheon buildings. Much too cliche, too obvious, too naff! Perhaps I am being too hard on myself. It was horrible to get the white gesso out and paint over them but a couple of days later I’m now looking forward to creating a new, revised set of paintings.

So yes I am saddened to admit my attempt at adding Greek mythological narrative into my landscape paintings has ended unsatisfactorily. Next attempt please…


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