Taking Another Look

I had a very interesting experience yesterday. My practice is to take any painting that I’m not happy with and put it in a pile. Then I reuse the back of these paintings. I pulled out this one yesterday and was just about to cut it up when I took a second look at it.

Rex Beanland, A Moment Of Reflection, watercolour, 18 x 24

I did this painting 4 years ago and submitted it to a big show and it was not accepted so I considered it unsuccessful. I hadn’t looked at it in a long time but yesterday when I saw it I thought that the centre of interest was actually quite interesting. So I cropped it down to the essentials and it became a very different painting.

Rex Beanland, A Moment Of Reflection, watercolour, 11 x 20
A Moment Of Reflection

I now look at it as a very successful painting.

This experience has reinforced two things. 1) It’s important to ask yourself ‘what is the painting about’. In this case it’s about the story of the lady and her dogs and all the rest of the background and foreground didn’t really add much to it. Secondly, we need to be open minded when we look at our work. Maybe we’re missing what’s right in front of our eyes. Very valuable lessons!

6 thoughts on “Taking Another Look

    1. Rex Beanland Post author

      No need to apologize George and thanks a lot for taking the time to comment. It’s funny how I haven’t looked at this painting for almost 3 years and when I saw the full version for the first time in those years, in my blog, I thought, “Humm, it’s not all that bad”, but I have to admit that when I look at the cropped version especially as I see it framed on my wall it does have a stronger sense of ‘a moment of reflection’. So for me it’s close but I’m glad I cropped it. It also shows me how much I was influenced by that jury’s opinion that it wasn’t worthy of that show. That’s something that isn’t helpful. Great comment.

  1. Susan Fogg

    Great comments. As an artist I find it really helpful when I have a ‘new’, ‘clean’ set of eyes looking and commenting on my work. I spend so much solitary time on my art I can get ‘invested’ in it and ‘too close’ to the work and not ‘see’ it clearly or objectively. So a new set of eyes can be helpful.

    However once I have settled on the piece, reviewed and critiqued the work, I need to stand by and be proud of my work and not be influenced by the jury process which can have all manner of personal and political nuances associated with it. It is usually just one persons opinion. Ando we carry on.

    1. Rex Beanland Post author

      Great comment, Susan. We acknowledge other’s opinions but we don’t want to get bent out of shape over them. We must have our own vision and our own sense of whether a painting works or doesn’t even though we may need to have a little time to get a fresh perspective. Thanks for taking the time to continue this little discussion


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