The secret gallery’s blog

Maybe the first secret gallery in Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland

Building up and erasing

with 2 comments

One of the things I love about painting with oils is that you can paint over it again and again; you can be really free and experimental and simply wipe it away or paint over it if you don’t like it! I love the way these layers build up over time. Today I was working on four different paintings, that I had started over the last couple of weeks. They were all at an in between stage. One was of a pilgrim in a forest, another of a horses head, another was a diver/astronaut, and the forth was of a woman changing a baby’s nappy! This little one makes me smile a lot! Many of my painting go through lots of different lives and look like completely different paintings, though it is all part of the process and journey of painting; without going through each stage they would not reach their final destination. Some people say that paintings are never finished they just stop at interesting places. For me a painting is finished when something in side you says stop! You cant do a thing more to it because it is complete. Sometimes I paint and wipe it away, the painting begins to look like a worn rag itself, but the wonderful thing is that in a few days it becomes dry, and armed with some new energy the old worn rag painting, can become miraculously one of the best paintings you have ever done! Sometimes painting come out easily and sometimes they are a struggle, I suppose it is about not getting complacent!

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Written by Marianne Slevin

10 September, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Posted in Painting

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2 Responses

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  1. Although I have not painted for a while I would still say that the most difficult thing is knowing when to walk away and declare something finished!
    I have lost count of the number of times I would get a painting looking pretty good only to try that last little “improvement” that tips it over the edge in to crapsville.

    Your post almost tempts me to dig out the paint box, if only I did not have to tile the living room paint the ouytside of teh house look after the kids ect ….

    Iain Hall

    10 September, 2008 at 10:19 pm

  2. Hi Iain,

    Thanks for your comment, I am glad it almost got you to paint again. Sorry could not do anything about the the tiling and painting the house! I think if you get the paints out today, prepare somewhere to paint tomorrow, find some canvas or other material to paint on the next day it will all start happening! For me it helps if I have a few paintings on the go as regards when to stop, so instead of keeping working on the same piece and often overworking it I simply move on to another one, it also stops me trying to put too much in the one piece.

    Best wishes,


    Marianne Potterton

    11 September, 2008 at 5:34 pm

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