Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Do The Same Painting Again Years Later?!

Ever wonder what a painting might look like if an artist painted the same subject matter decades later? I never did - until I recently tried it!  Any other artists out there who have done this? The big question then might be - any improvement? 

On my 'do it again' painting I'd have to say there was improvement - definitely 'seeing' more and 'seeing' better. Gosh, you'd hope after thirty four years there would be some kind of gain!

Here is the painting completed in 1977 (the early years of my art career). "Spare Chairs" was  entered in the Lincoln Artist's Guild Spring competition that year. Lo and behold I won first place and it was sold to the Bennet Martin downtown library for $200

But I wasn't ready to let that painting go! Many artists can relate to that - a lot of emotional, mental, physical, even spiritual connection to some work and it takes time to part with them.        

"Spare Chairs" acrylic on canvas 24"x30" 
©1977 Nancy Teague

Sorry for the poor image of my first bentwood chairs painting but the only record I had was a faded 3 1/4" x 4 1/2" snapshot of the painting leaning against a chair (isn't that ironic?). So a scan and photo editing out the background was the best I could do. So much for keeping good records way back then!

Now the recently completed 'do it again' painting entitled "Have A Chair". BTW - my previous post explains why it took me a year and a half to complete this piece. Hmm, do I have 'time' issues?

"Have A Chair" acrylic on canvas 40"x30" 2011© Nancy Teague

Why did I want to paint these chairs again?
  • Memory of discovering these chairs 'bunched up' in an empty main street store in near by Hallam, NE (pop. about 275). The store was locked so I had to take a picture through the big glass window. Why were these chairs bunched up? Were they used for town hall meetings? Was this old store front the now designated meeting hall?
  • Knowing on May 22, 2004 a tornado destroyed or damaged 95% of Hallam. The 2.5 mile wide tornado that swept through Hallam is thought to be the widest tornado ever recorded.To be sure those chairs were long gone, if not before. So to redo them made the photo recorded moment even more meaningful to me.
  • Neutral tones of this subject matter rock!
  • 'Semi-arranged' chairs was a serendipity - like an arranged disorder. Who bunched up those chairs 34 years ago? I'd like to thank them!
  • The playfulness and intrigue of the arranged disorder.
  • Bentwood or bow back chairs are endearing to me! Don't know exactly why - just like them. Did you know they were the cheapest chairs made back in the late1870's?
  • Stunning impacts of light on the chairs and cast shadows - I had nothing to do with it - just happened to be at the right place at the right time! A divine appointment.
  • The story - what if those chairs could talk? How many stories of personal conversations, expressed care, confiding moments, gossip, laughter, tears, disagreements, frustrations expressed, town hall decisions voted upon..?
  • The challenge of all those bows, spindles, legs, and chair rungs! Of course at times I would ask myself, "What were you thinking?!" (a big reason for taking a break) But at some point I would rally and say, "I will conquer you. I will complete you!" 
  •  Maybe the biggest reason for redoing - I really liked the subject matter, it was a one of a kind capture, and I missed "Spare Chairs". So why not make another one - and perhaps make it even better!
Here's to 'do it again' artists! We just might be surprised at the results - especially after several decades.

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