The Love that Surrounds Me 1 & 2. Diptych 36" x 36" ea

Sunday, June 8, 2008

How long does it take to paint a painting?

I am often asked,

"How long did it take you to paint this?"

The answer? I don't really know. I don't log the hours and minutes... I'm not paid by the hour, only roughly by the square inch. So in general, size will matter in adding more time to the piece.

For example, this painting "Stand Tall" peaks at 8' x 4'. Yup, that's 96" x 48"... big. It flowed. It worked. The composition, the colours, everything just came together with little or no frustration, contemplation or hair pulling.

How long did it take? Hmmmm...

I can probably guesstimate that it took me about 3 weeks or so... maybe less. That includes building the frame that it's on (I build the panelled mahogany boards that I paint on), designing, sketching, painting, varnishing, etc. If I kept a time sheet, I'd probably lose my enthusiasm and feel like I was back at the law office I used to work at years ago.


This one (below) is driving me insane! It's the same size as the above painting only horizontal. In case you can't see my sarcastic smile, believe me... it's there and I AM going crazy trying to get this painting to come together! Of course I'm not showing you the whole picture of the painting, only the best looking bits...

It's been months and I'm still not finished - the length of time that it takes can be a frustration in itself and can produce a substantial loss of inspiration. Something else you should know is that I am not CONSTANTLY working on ONLY this piece - then I'd really go nuts. Sometimes it's good to give your next 'masterpiece' a break and get back to it later when your mind is fresher. Starting (AND finishing) a new and different project makes you feel good about yourself and your art.

So, my struggles on this piece continue and my ideas keep changing. Things will eventually come together, they always do. I have to keep telling myself to have patience, not to give up and to remember the exhilerating feeling when this monster will be finished.

How long did it take me to paint this? I'll keep you posted.


Anonymous said...

Hey Chris! I love it! Your art really 'pops' on the black background too! I think a blog is a GREAT idea and I'll make sure to check it out often. See you soon?

Anonymous said...

Hi Chrissandra,

Great idea to blog.....it gives us an idea of what goes on behind the scenes. Just in case you might be inspired in the future, we have a wall that is just waiting for one of your paintings but it couldn't be wider than 30" - height could be anywhere from 40 -50". Love your trees and the green and rust colours look good with our decor. Anything that speaks of West Coast nature appeals - arbutus, fir, cedar, ocean, slate. Wishing you well, Merrilyn