Face Making

Le blog de l’artiste peintre franco-américaine Gwenn Seemel. Les articles sont en anglais et en français, et souvent ils sont bilingues.

Finished! / Achevé!

2010 . 12 . 26 - Comments / Commentaires (9)

I never change work once I’ve deemed it finished. And that’s not to say that I think none of my work could use a touch-up!

Une fois que je juge une œuvre achevée, je ne la retravaille pas, mais cela ne veut pas dire que je pense qu’aucun de mes tableaux profiteraient d’un petit retouchement!


Gwenn Seemel
Self-portrait / Auto-portrait
acrylic on printed fabric / acrylique sur tissu imprimé
24 x 24 inches / 61 x 61 centimètres
(detail below / détail plus bas)


- Finishing a painting / Finir un tableau
- Getting it right
- On starting and finishing

- Right and wrong in art / Le correct et le pas correct dans l’art
- Portrait mistakes / Les erreurs à ne pas commettre dans un portrait
- Finishing a painting / Finir un tableau

CATÉGORIES: - English - Français - Practice - Video -

Gwenn Seemel sur Liberapay     Gwenn Seemel sur Patreon

(9) Comments / Commentaires: Finished! / Achevé!

-- James Mullaney -- 2011 . 01 . 13 --

Hi Gwen, not only do I revisit and alter my old paintings and prints, but its not unknown for me to cut them up and re use them. I do keep a photographic record of my work as it was. I’ve just started reworking a large painting that was ‘finished’ last year. Love your work. James

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-- Gwenn -- 2011 . 01 . 13 --

I love it!  And I love that you keep a record of the changing piece…by which I mean that I would love to see the evolution of works that are cut up and reworked.

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-- PIDDIU Mélissia -- 2011 . 07 . 26 --

Je fonctionne pareil, des vieux projets je n’y retouche plus. Même si je me dis que c’est nul maintenant. Car ça montre jute comment que j’évolue techniquement. Et que mon point de vue change d’une époque à une autre. c’est ça justement que je trouve intéressant =) L’évolution de l’artiste dans ses technique au fil du temps et de ses périodes ^^

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-- Claire ESTEBAN -- 2012 . 09 . 17 --

Je ne retouche jamais mes anciennes toiles. JAMAIS! smile Pour moi, elles représentent un moment dans ma vie, dans mon développement. Elles ont en quelque sorte été peintes par une autre personne que celle que je suis aujourd’hui, une autre “moi”, différente. Si je les retouchais aujourd’hui, ce serait à mon sens un anachronisme.

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-- Mary Beth Frezon -- 2012 . 09 . 17 --

I agree with you, Gwenn: I see my past work as a progression. I might still be drawn to similar subjects but my ideas and techniques have changed over the years. I would be hard put to re-make something I’ve done before and I know it would be too hard for me to alter it. I do know people who chop up their unfinished works or works they don’t like anymore to make something new but my work doesn’t lend itself to that once it’s complete. I encourage folks not to feel embarrassed by old works - it’s where you were vs where you are now.

What I was pondering today was the difference in mindset between what I do re making big quilts of abstract, contemporary designs (I have no idea how to really describe them) vs the writing that I’ve been doing lately.

For quilts, I get an idea, figure out logistics and construction and go for it but I have a pretty good idea of what it’s going to look like. There are decisions to make and can be changes along the way, although these are generally small. When I get to the end, I’m done, it’s done and it pretty much looks like I hoped it would and hopefully even better.

For writing, I have much less idea about the finished product. The process is much more off the cuff. There is a need to go back and edit and re-write and I’m finding that very hard to do because it’s outside my past experience.

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-- Gwenn -- 2012 . 09 . 19 --

@Claire: C’est ça, exactement!

@Mary Beth: It’s hard for me to imagine working the way you describe your quilt-making process.  Even when I’m cooking and I have a very specific vision of what I want the finished “piece” to be like, I’m still improvising as I make.  I think the closest I’ve come to your quilt-making process is printing from my own intaglio plates.  The really creative part is done first, on the plate itself, and the all-important printing is more of an execution. 

The re-working process is so much a part of the way I view my life too.  I think I’m a make-things-up-as-I-go-along type (though not always, now that I think on it).  Do you find that that you’re more of a planner-and-executor in the rest of your life too?

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-- Mary Beth -- 2012 . 09 . 19 --

I know that I can work in a more improvisational way, but the main part of my work involves laying out a great many small pieces, some already pieced, and then sewing them together and quilting the whole thing by stitching.

By the time I start sewing together, I’ve pondered and lived with the thing on my design wall to make adjustments etc. Very occasionally something will need a change as I go on but fairly minor. at the end, I’m propelled forward by a desire to see the thing in my head fully there in “person.”

I think that was one reason I found the writing thing so exciting. I started out with no idea of what was going to happen, created some characters and suddenly the story was developing as I wrote.

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-- Louise -- 2013 . 03 . 17 --

Je ne retouche jamais une oeuvre. Elle devient un indicateur de mon évolution en tant que personne et en tant qu’artiste.

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-- Gwenn -- 2013 . 03 . 17 --

@Louise: Je comprends très bien ce sentiment!

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