During my first art fair, I was able to hear some feedback about my paintings from others, most the time while they didn’t realize I was hearing their feedback. It was a great opportunity to understand what people liked and what they did not like about my work. And while most of the feedback was good, there were some that did not like my work or some that were not as in love with certain paintings.
I had two paintings that people didn’t love and after the art fair, I thought about it a lot. Now, I want to make a note in here about this. I did not change my paintings because people were giving less positive feedback. I have some paintings that I love and have no desire to change but are not favorites of others. And that is okay. While I do want to sell paintings, sometimes it is more important that I stick to my values and what I think looks good. Just because almost everyone dislikes a painting, does not mean that it won’t appeal to someone somewhere. No, the reason I changed these paintings is because I already had a bit of dissatisfaction with them myself for one reason or another.
The first painting I wanted to revamp was one that made me really nervous. I liked the painting I had created and I didn’t want to mess it up by changing it. What if in the process of trying to make it a better version of itself, I made it worse and could not go back. I originally wanted the colors of the lave lamp to be blue and green because I had a blue and green lava lamp growing up and I really liked the way those colors looked together. But when I went to paint the lava lamp part, I realized that I had been using so much blue and green in all my other paintings and so I wanted to push my boundaries and go out of my comfort zone to create something else.
I ended up painting it yellow and red and I was happy with it but it always felt like it was a little bit off. It was a good painting and it was in my top five favorite of the paintings I had created thus far but there were so many different colors and they were fighting each other. I was content to keep it the way it was but after hearing what people had to say about it at the art fair, I decided it might be time to make a change. Below, you will see the comparison of what the painting looked like originally (on the left) and what the revamped version looks like (on the right).
The next painting I revamped was one that I had liked the idea of but never felt completely satisfied with the outcome. I always wanted to add more to it because when I had “finished” it, it seemed like it need more. Another issue with the painting was that most people had no idea what was happening in the painting, even if I explained it. When I decided to redo the painting, I was originally just going to add more detail into it. After sitting on it and thinking of what would make it look better, I started painting and I was liking the idea less and less. I was still trying to make the idea I had originally work.
At this point, I was feeling very dissatisfied with the piece and I walked away for a bit. I think this is important. If it is not working, do not fight it. Don’t make a bad situation worse. Just walk away and come back later. In the next few days I though about how I could make the idea work and then when I still was not getting anywhere, I toyed with the thought of changing the idea all together. I came up with a few ideas and I was starting to feel that spark again with this painting and then I finally thought of something that just felt so right and I new I had to go in that direction.
I had done a painting in my early years of college that had a bit of a stained glass feel to it and I always wanted to go back to that idea. When I looked at that painting, I realized that was the solution to this other painting. I would make the window a stained glass window. Below is the comparison of what the painting looked like originally (on the left) and what the revamped version looks like (on the right).
I love how these two paintings turned out. It was tough going for a while but I am so glad that I redid these paintings and did not just succumb to my fear. I have another art fair coming up soon and I hope that I will have another opportunity to get feedback from others and most of all, maybe sell one of these “new” paintings.