Save Your Work

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Yes, save all of it.  I don’t mean forever, but at least for a year.  I read that somewhere, or heard it, maybe?  Anyway, I have been saving stuff and then reviewing it after awhile.  The reason is so you can see how you progress.  I didn’t know anything about drawing or painting when I started, I just went for it.  In some ways that is very admirable as ignorance can be bliss and gives you more freedom to try new things.  On the down side, not a lot of what I did was very good.  This is why it is good to try a class or two, and read a book or two, and watch a video or two.  Then when you have done that, you can worry about technique.  Haha!  I am a big believer in self-education and I am grateful for all those talented people out there who teach classes, write books and make videos.  The rest is then down to me.  I have learned a lot.

I am amassing a lot of paper.  In fact, I had a lot of work in a portfolio.  Somehow, this portfolio got lost in the loft.  My husband managed to find it for me the other day (he’s the one who lost it) and I just went through it this morning.  I hadn’t seen it for a couple of years.  I threw out half of it, some is going to the charity shop, and the rest is staying in the portfolio as it is too nice to throw out, but nothing I want to frame, except for two.

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07.07.11 – Iris – Mixed Media on Paper – A4

I can’t believe I did this in 2011.  I had been looking for the original photo and I found it in the portfolio with this painting.  I looks really nice in a black frame and blue mount card.  I painted this when I didn’t know anything about painting.

I also found this:

img_3194Watercolor on paper – A3

Sorry about the quality of the photo. (It looks better in person) I can’t even remember how I painted this!  It’s different for me and was probably done when I first took a watercolour class and did life drawing classes.  I liked it enough to frame it.

It was nice to look back on my old work and reminisce with myself.  I can remember most of what I had been doing at the time.  I mainly worked on still life in every medium except oil paint and watercolor.  As I said earlier, I am amassing a lot of paper.  Instead of hanging onto things for a year, I am now reviewing every few months.  Some of the work has been cut up and made into cards or I will be working on the back of them (if they are clean enough).  There is no sense in wasting paper.  Working on the back of a piece you don’t like is not an uncommon thing to do.  Even if the backs are not that clean, you can still use them to test out colors.

I am still painting myself calm and doing painting exercises that will hopefully turn into something other than some nice color combinations one day; but even if they don’t I am finding some joy in just putting paint to paper.

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One response

  1. I have to agree Arlene, save it! Use it as a reference to see how you’ve grown and to gauge your mastery of color, composition and technique. In one breathe I shudder at some of my early work, in the next I think “hey, that’s pretty good” . Sometimes the only way to see how far you’ve come, is to look at where you’ve been. And ultimately, none of it really matters – as long as you’ve had fun and been true to yourself.