For me, having a painting on the easel for too long is like leaving food in the fridge.
Fresh is best. When left too long, it could spell the death of me.
So it felt a little risky this week, when I upped the ante to paint two paintings of the same subject simultaneously. It was the refrigeration equivalent of buying a bulk pack of Hokkien noodles when stir fry was only set to make an appearance once on the weekly menu.
This could be a lot to get through in one sitting… how could I keep it fresh once I started on it?
But life is meant to be lived, and how quickly can egg noodles go off, I ask you?
Above is the painting equivalent of me tucking confidently into my massive Hokkien noodle stir fry. All was travelling well. My brushwork was loose, and despite having more than enough noodles on my plate, I was in it for the long haul. Fresh is best after all.
Then I got a bit too full and things started to look patchy. My colours were off (too vibrant), my brushwork was all over the place, and my initial fears were realised: I was going to have to call a stop to this binge and put these babies in the fridge till I worked out what to do with them. Figuratively speaking. (Stay with me folks, this analogy took a long time to come up with).
I walked away and left my pair of a Pair of Pears on the easel to dry for a day or two. I was a bit miffed, to be honest. They’re not exactly the most complex objects… and I’ve seen more involved still-life set-ups at my local green grocer’s. I couldn’t let a couple of cuddling pears get the best of me.
A weekend’s worth of perspective helped clarify what changes I was going to make. Muted tones and more considered line-work in my brush strokes were the order of the day.
I mixed up my paint, hoped the noodles weren’t riddled with bacteria and went in for a second helping:
Don’t they always say that noodles taste better a day or two after you cook them?
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