Yup! A painting, especially a large one, is like a good book.
The painting pictured above is three panels that each measure 48" x 36" (9 feet wide!).
The art problems that a large painting throws my way are both complex and subtle. I need to find solutions on a grand scale, for the “story” it will tell from across the room, as well as on an intimate scale for when you are up close and the rest of the world drops away at as you are surrounded by the work. Each little area has to have a subtle beauty that works in service to the greater whole but also on its own, almost in the same way that a chapter can stand separately but still is a piece supporting a whole novel or the way that a single sentence can take your breath away but still has to support the feeling and plot of the whole.
Some authors plot their whole story before they write, while others allow their characters to go on a journey, sometimes surprising their own creator. I am the latter kind of "author". I believe in letting a painting take the lead in its own development, and I am often surprised by what I create.
That doesn't mean that the whole painting is an accident however! I respect the painting's journey and celebrate it, but I also edit it. After each mark I step back to evaluate its effect on the rest of the painting. If I like the effect I may do more or leave it as a special isolated mark to become a focus of the "story".
The painting above threw some curve balls at me and I had to keep reworking the left the panel to make it work as a whole. At one point, it really wasn't working and I was going to remove the left panel and leave the painting like this:
But then a friend suggested that it would be a good challenge to stick with it and try to make the third panel work. I like challenges, so I did. Resulting in the painting as it ended up above. The pale brown peachy area was the perfect solution for the left panel and gave the piece the balance it needed.
Interestingly, once it was completed, and the compositional issues solved, another friend suggested that I look at these two as a composition.
Suggesting that this one could be hung on its own.
How COOL to realize the versatility of this piece! It creates different experiences for you in your home or office depending upon how you hang it!
If you are looking for art, this, and others are available for sale through my website or at the gallery, Anne Bedrick Fine Art, 68895 Perez Road, Unit i26, Cathedral City, CA. I am open Wednesday-Saturday from 11am-3pm or by appointment.