Improving by removing

What am I working on? Well, I spent the better part of a day producing a virtual exhibition on my home page. I am excited about how it came out! But there is not much more to say about that, because you probably already saw it when you came in. Another thing today, was a comparison. I updated a work yesterday and I have good photo’s of before and after, because I thought I was finished with it. So I could compare.

This is what I had. It’s a typical acrylics cut-and-paste that I like to make these days. I save all my pallet papers now, and I occasionally cut up a work that I don’t like. So I have a whole collection of ‘bits and pieces’ to choose from. I glue those on. I really like the process. It dries quickly, it never shines trough and I can try out different positions for the new element. And it can go pretty quickly. So here is the one-before-last phase:

I had some problems with it. Too crowded. Not enough definition. Too chaotic. So I added soem light surfaces. I had already written up the story in the gallery and that story, about a gatekeeper and a merchant, really helped my choices on what to make white. Here is how it came out:

Maybe I should put them next to each other.

And now you can compare. I like number 2 a lot better. Often I wonder whether my extra actions make a work better or worse. Sometimes I see a photograph of an earlier version of a painting and I actually like that better. Clearer. More direct. But not this time. For me, number 2 is more expressive by showing less.

About the Author JAAPH

JAAPH is an expressionist painter living in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.