fill, full, unfill

You have to edit the material. That assumes that some kind of a mind is operating in relation to the material. Not all minds are the same. Every aspect of filmmaking requires choice. The selection of the subject, the shooting, editing and length are all aspects of choice. – Frederick Wiseman

My Bowl is Full
8×8 inches

I tweeked this painting last week and am much happier with it. Originally I had embedded a pressed fern frond in one of the squares. You can see it at my flickr page. After a few months, the leaves faded to a dull yellow, and while it looked fine, it bothered me. I also knew that I wouldn’t want to sell it if there was a faded leaf in there, even though, like I said, it still looked fine. But I liked the green. And it wasn’t green anymore. So it had to go.

I am so much happier with this version. There is always a hesitation when I return to a “finished” piece. There is a worry that I will ruin the painting. But honestly, if something doesn’t feel right to me, I can’t ignore it. I have also come to believe that there really is no such thing as ruining a painting. If something does get ruined, then it wasn’t meant to be and it was meant to give birth to something better. (Although I have spilled red paint on a finished painting and did, indeed, ruin it. But you know what I mean.)

The writing itself is no big deal. The editing, and even more than that, the self-doubt, is excruciatingly impossible. -Jonathan Safran Foer


  1. Bridgette….yes, I agree….it has to feel right and there is nothing sacred, I’d say. The communication between you and the work is ongoing and sometimes it’s necessary to go back….well, move forward rather and take the piece to the place it really wants to be. Good for you for listening and knowing when to act! Beautiful work!

  2. I feel exactly the same, Bridgette. I can tell myself to leave it alone, but I know by now that it’s just not gonna happen; it will keep bugging me until I change it. and yes, I have ruined some, but we have to attempt it, don’t we? The piece is beautiful, and I know the sense of satisfaction it gives you that you made it “right.”

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