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Paint Flowers; Marinate Three Years

Paint Flowers; Marinate Three Years


“Flower Piece (after Matisse),” oil on canvas, 14″ x 11″, ¬©Sukie Curtis 2015

In my life with paint, some paintings happen fast (perhaps in under an hour), but most do not. I often paint until I get stuck and don’t know what to do next.

That’s why my painting studio has all sorts and sizes of paintings leaning against each other and some hanging by push pins on the wall–just waiting until I decide to fiddle with them again, or perhaps to paint over one with a whole new painting.

Some paintings “marinate” that way for a long time. How long? Like, several months, or sometimes two or three or even four years!

The painting above started out as an “exercise” inspired by a Matisse painting on a calendar I had lying around. As I remember, I had set out to focus more on the values of the composition–the balance and rhythm of lights and darks in it–but very quickly, I was wrapped up in the colors without concern for values! (About the only way I know to get around that is to paint in shades of grey or of just blue, for instance, such is the power of color to seduce and derail my best intentions.)

In any case, back in 2011 or 2012 I abandoned this painting and let it occupy a very back burner for a very long time. Until something about it called to me earlier this summer.

Enough marinating! It’s time had come.

(This painting is currently at Yarmouth Frame and Gallery in Yarmouth, Maine, and it will be included in the Yarmouth Art Festival, October 21 – 24, at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Yarmouth, Maine. A catalog of the show is available on line.)

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