Friday, October 18, 2013

A Limbo Room for Artwork

Do you ever wonder where your paintings go when you are stumped about what to do next with them and they're not quite ready for exhibition or sale? They sneak out of your room at night and start living under the radar in my Limbo Room.

You'll never guess what I found Googling for "Limbo", a painting by a follower of my old friend, Hieronymous Bosch :

"Christ in Limbo" by Follower of Hieronymous Bosch, image taken from this Wikipedia source.

"Limbo" is a term used in the Roman Catholic Church for a place where one's soul goes if it isn't quite qualified for Heaven but isn't quite disqualified, either. You'll need to search around the internet for more information on the Church's position since frankly, I don't know it, and besides, I've already been told that my posts are too long and boring and all artists actually want to know is this: how did you mix that color? closely followed by the question,  how can I get into a good gallery?

By the way, getting into a good gallery is not actually the equivalent of your painting getting into Heaven. Getting your painting sold is the equivalent of getting your painting into Heaven.

Anyway, so there's your painting with something that makes it not quite ready for sale. Take a good hard look at your work in Limbo for a minute. What, in general, is going wrong there? Is the drawing off, the color garish, are there hopeless technical issues, is the concept too boring, or is the design weak or uninteresting? A lot of my own problem paintings are the result of insufficient planning before I start working on a painting. Sometimes parts of a painting can be salvaged, a portion isolated and restretched and saved.

 If you're a professional artist, you have to keep up your quality in a competitive economy, but you cannot afford to have too many paintings end up in Limbo. You'll run out of room, for one thing, and you'll go broke.

I was going to include a photo of my Limbo area but I've decided not to, it's too embarrassing. Meanwhile, I go into Limbo every few months and throw my weight around, throwing out hopeless paintings by pushing them into a funnel and making them swim in a foul black liquid (see above). It's a bad feeling to do that, especially if you've worked a long time on a piece, but it's necessary.

You might enjoy the version of Limbo Rock below, with a still-spry 72-yr. old Chubby Checker. (I couldn't find a decent video of him performing this song from the 60s.) You could play it as upbeat background music while you go and throw out a few paintings.

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