We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little hobbitses. Wicked, tricksy, false!

You may recognize this quote from the great J.R.R. Tolkein from The Hobbit. But this is what I was thinking as I looking through glass at my matted and framed painting titled “Underneath”.

My Precious…

I mocked in my best Gollum hiss. Crazy sounding, I know. I talk to myself often and in riddles or sing songy voices or just bizarre sounding utterances especially while I paint. But really this was just normal back and forth banter with myself about work I’ve done that I may or may have not liked from the beginning, middle or end of the work – this one being all three.

framed Underneath before rework

Leonardo da Vinci said “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” I find this to be true a lot of the time with my own pieces. Sometimes, I just stop working on them and call them finished. Sometimes, I have further ideas for them that never happen. Or sometimes they do happen, just in their own sweet time as in this case, with “Underneath”.

“Underneath” started out as an experiment. I sifted through my blog searching for any remote posts I had on this piece and couldn’t find anything to show you so I’ll have to try and remember from two years ago what I did. No easy feat considering I usually can’t remember what I did yesterday, let alone two years ago. Ah but pictures bring it all back into focus. Lucky for me, I am an avid picture taker. Ever since I can remember, even before the digital days. I’ve got tons of crappy pictures I took practicing with my point and shoot.

Anyway, back to the painting. Why am I hissing My Precious to myself as I look at this work? Simple really. To remind myself to not hold anything so precious that I can’t go back in and re-work it and possibly totally screw it up worse. This never really was precious to begin with though, and actually is a great candidate to re-work. I did have a lady at a summer show fall in love with it and promised to come back and buy it but you know how that goes. Obviously, we know how that did turn out, right? I’ve still got it… ha ha…

This piece, while it was fun to create and I was learning new techniques with layering and using resist, it never has been my favorite. I loved the leaves and still do, but I’m pretty sure it’s because it really doesn’t fit (or didn’t I should now say!) my usual vivid coloring style. Well I fixed it’s little red wagon, didn’t I? It now looks like it belongs in my booth for sure. It was one of those pieces that I would place at the bottom of the booth or just leave it off completely because I felt it was so… I don’t know… off. It was just off. Even though it was nice enough by itself, I kinda treated like the proverbial red headed step child.

Here are all the photos I have of the steps from this painting.

Step 1 - the underpainting

Step 1 – the underpainting or sketch even with a paintbrush. No fear! Ha ha

Step 2 - washes and resist added

Step 2 – washes and resist added

Step 3 - More washes of color

Step 3 – More washes of color

Underneath-finished before framing-4

Step 4 – Splatters of paint and call it a day – see… abandoned before it was really finished.

I think I was annoyed that it just didn’t go to places I wanted it to go. So I basically abandoned it by saying done before it’s time. No wonder it didn’t sell. Not to mention besides it being leaves, the color pallet doesn’t scream Jaime Haney at all, does it?

Oh well, lessons learned, right? Now is its time. I am much much happier with what I did after my self imposed tongue lashing. See below, carry on.

After adding vivid colors and defining branches and leaves it came alive.

After adding resist, vivid colors and defining branches and leaves it came alive.

Peel away the resist and add a bit more paint here and there. Now there. Much better.

Peel away the resist and add a bit more paint here and there. Now there. Much better.

I’m not above re-working a piece if it’s not holding its own. This one wasn’t. I’ve done it before, you may have noticed or maybe you haven’t. I can think of one right off the top of my head from this year and it was Poppy Pods. It started out simple and with a pink background. The more I looked at it, the more off it felt. I started mistreating it and roughing it up with my grungy treatment of grinding in the paint with a dry brush with my usual color palette and it came to life. I like it much better now, too.

Before and After ReWorking Poppy Pods

Before and After ReWorking Poppy Pods

And of course how could have I already forgotten, Bittersweet Surrenderthat was a rework! Jeesh… see I told you I forget!

So, I’ll have “Underneath” back in a new frame soon. Probably white mat, black frame and it will be available in my shop if I don’t sell it next weekend at Christmas in New Harmony. I’ll update this post when I get a link for the original and/or prints. Come back and see.

Catch ya later.

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