Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How Do You Know When It's Finished ?


This is a small watercolor I've done for my Mom for her birthday.  It recalls a visit to Westminster Abbey in London.  This is the gate to a small secluded garden in the middle of the church called the "Little Cloister."  It is the first "real" watercolor painting I've ever done, so I realize that it is far from perfect ; ).  

I need your help, though.  I sense that I could do a couple more things to this before pronouncing it finished, but what do those of you with a lot more experience than I have think?  I want it to retain a soft quality---to evoke a memory, not do a photographic reproduction. Also, how would you mat this?  I was thinking of a white mat next to the painting (since I didn't do a great job with the edges), then a black one surrounding that--much like what I've done with the paper here to do the photo.  I had thought of a red mat to echo the flowers in the center, but maybe that's too informal?   I would greatly appreciate any advice.

13 comments:

kathy hare said...

Hello Kathy, I actually think it is perfect as it is, it is so easy to overwork something like this and I think you could lose that beautiful dreamy quality that you have created.. the contrast of the gates with the soft background works particularly well.
I personally would put a cream mount with it because I think any other colour would perhaps change how you perceive the colours in the picture but I think that you should go with your personal preference, a charcoal grey would possibly look good too..
I hope this helps.. :)

Shani said...

Hey Kathy,

Ah, don't be modest! You've done an excellent job here!!! I think mats are really just a matter of taste and I'm sure any you choose will look good. If it were me I'd go with a pale sky blue mat with the inside bevel in white. I think that would blend with the pale blue of the sky, keeping the softness of the watercolor that you want. It's just me but I think a darker color mat might detract from the painting itself. Or even maybe a very, very pale green?

Kathleen Coy said...

Thanks for the very nice comment you left on my blog. I'm glad my review on the Golden Open acrylics was helpful to you. I came over to see your work, what a fun style you have - I LOVE the hen wearing Mary Janes!

Oh, and it can be hard for me to know when a painting is finished sometimes too. Usually I will put it away for a couple days and then look at it again with fresh eyes. That seems to do the trick.

Hélène GLEHEN said...

thank you for your comments on my work.
I agree with Kathleen. When you are not satisfied with a work the best it to put it away for few days maybe for few weeks. In this way, you will have new eyes and will detect if the painting "speaks" to you.

kslaughter said...

Thanks so much everyone! You have been so helpful and encouraging ; )

Björnik said...

Hi Kathy, this is perfect for a first painting. Looking at it, I guess there's nothing left to add. Is there? I mean you and your mother both shared this memory so it's all up to you what to show people.

About the matting, I think red would mute the painting. Well, if you have a specific tone in mind that complements the painting, go. But if we are talking about a special moment with a very special person in our lives, I guess a simple off white mat and a matte gold frame will be nice.

I'm sure your mom will be delighted to have this.:)

Susan Faye said...

The eternal question--When is it done? I agree that putting it away for a week or two, then looking at it with "fresh eyes" helps. But this painting looks complete to me, capturing a special moment in time with a lovely atmospheric glow.

Michael O'Connell said...

i like it as it is… don't overwork it or try too hard… it is beautiful… i would double mat this… one mat (white) with the irregular edges of your work would do nicely… the black might tend to overpower…

and thanks for the visit!

lizybeth said...

Nice job! Watercolors are so difficult to work with.
I agree with kathy hare that cream or gray would retain the nice sunny quality of the painting. Though if you are going for formal, the black does do that.

Autumn Rose Crafts said...

Amazing talent, Your Mom with love this Im sure, yes I think its perfect just as it is, its so easy to do too much, less is more as they say. I love it! Sarah x

Carol said...

Oh, I just love your little watercolor... it is my favorite medium.
Thank you for your kind words about my embroidery and my special mom. Would you believe she still cuts our hair - including my sister's 21 year old son. She is just as perky and spunky as she looks. She was bored one day last week, so she made cookies. And she loves to clean. Something my sister and I aren't crazy about AT ALL.
God Bless,
Carol

Teresa said...

Hi Kathy,

Thank you for visiting my blog! Was nice to have you visit and I hope you'll come back again.

I think this is a lovely painting and I can't see anything that I'd change. Love the soft greens and that gate makes me want to push it open and walk through!

Quilt Rat said...

Your first watercolour???? WOW I think it is absolutely wonderful!