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How long does it take (to create a painting)?

While looking at some of my work, someone recently asked me how long it took to create one of my paintings.  Well, the short answer is: “It depends.”   Sometimes (when the stars are aligned just right) I can do five paintings in a day;  sometimes (when it’s more complicated … for a variety of reasons) one painting can take me months.

You’re still confused?  Let’s look at some examples.

Last week, on a day when the stars were aligned, I created 6 quick paintings, two of which I really liked:

Purple Boa

Purple Boa

Summer Sketch 9

Summer Sketch 9

These are relatively simple, quick sketches.  You will, of course, remember, that I created a number of other sketches that didn’t work.  And, of course, I started last summer doing some sketches that were the precursors to these. Not to mention the sketches done in previous weeks this summer that didn’t work so well.  Should we count all those in figuring out how long it takes to create a successful painting?

The next example is a painting that took me a couple of months (not counting the earlier Gawd-awful ones that didn’t work at all, but taught me something about the technique of working with masking fluid):

Language Is Leaving Me

Language Is Leaving Me

This one was a labor of love (emphasis on the “labor”).  I knew what I wanted, but it took forever to get there.  Every time I thought I was done, I’d look at it from a different angle and know it needed something else.

So, the bottom line:  I don’t know how to answer the question.  And the length of time doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of the painting.  I think all three are successful, but in different ways. Which do you like better?  Which do you think is the best painting?

Posted by ruthhurd on July 16, 2013

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