HOW TO RECREATE YOUR OWN ART (OR NOT)

How to recreate your own art? As I stepped into my art studio last week I realised what an unusually long period of time it had been since I had picked up a brush, mixed some paint or used my scissors. It had been almost two whole months. So I must admit I felt very out of practice and a little nervous as well. That’s why I decided to give myself something of a break and start of easy. Elaborating on some of my earlier works instead of wanting myself to create something new and unique immediately. This blog is about how I wanted to recreate my own art. How I failed miserably the first time and how I managed to succeed in the end.

WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO RECREATE YOUR OWN ART IN THE FIRST PLACE?

There are a couple of reasons why as an artist you would like to recreate your own art:

  • You want to get back in shape after a long studio break and decide you want to elaborate on some of your earlier works.
  • You’re quite fascinated by some of your earlier works and want to explore where you can take it in terms of theme, colour schemes, subject or size.
  • You feel like you’re onto something with these artworks and want to know what it is exactly.
  • The artworks themselves ‘ask’ for more. Like they are part of something bigger, or something different.

WHY I WANTED IT

In my case it was a combination of all the reasons above.

First, like I said, I wanted to give myself a break and ease into making art again after a long break.

how to recreate your own art: my botanical abstracts on which I wanted to elaborate
My botanical abstracts (summer 2020)

Second, I wanted to explore where I could take my botanical abstracts in terms of art practice. Because ever since I painted them last summer I was fascinated by them. Not only by their final results but also and especially by how they came together. They were the results of the most care free art practice I had experienced so far and I loved everything about them.

Third, I wanted to discover what it was that made them so unique. Because care free art is the best. But if you can’t remember what it was you did or aren’t able to do it again then it’s just luck. Or so did I feel at least.

Fourth and final, I also felt the artworks asked for more. Like they were supposed to become part of a larger family of artworks. I already fulfilled their wish last year by making botanical sculptures. But they were very convincing: they wanted children of their own. And if art is speaking to you like that, the only thing you can do as an artist is to oblige.

how to recreate your own art: botanical sculptures to go with the botanical abstract paintings

HOW TO FAIL AT RECREATING YOUR OWN ART

So I got to work feeling quite confident. And I failed miserably. After six paintings I already knew I was heading in a totally different direction. But I wanted to use up my paints and keep on trying so I kept on working until I had twelve paintings. Twelve paintings that had absolutely nothing to do with the works I wanted them to resemble. The colours where off, the compositions didn’t work and I ended up feeling very frustrated that evening.

how to not recreate your own art: this is what I cooked up when I wasn't paying attention

The next morning at breakfast we talked about it and how I didn’t feel very motivated to get back in the studio. Because, well, I couldn’t even make something I had already made before. What kind of complete loser artist was I?! But as we were talking about it, it became clear that I just hadn’t done my research properly. Using the colour theory by Johannes Itten we analysed the new paintings and compared them to the earlier works. We concluded:

  • The colour schemes of the earlier works was tertiary, while the colour schemes of the new paintings was secondary.
  • Furthermore, the tones in the earlier works were more grayed out, while the tones in the new paintings were more saturated.
  • Composition wise the earlier works were more like complex collages with multiple layers, while the new paintings were much simpler with only two layers.

These three factors resulted in something completely different! So I had to get back to the drawing board. The frustration had grown into eagerness to get it right this time!

HOW TO SUCCEED AT RECREATING YOUR OWN ART.

This time I really looked at my earlier works: what colour combinations did I use? What composition choices did I make? Not taking anything for granted but really trying to understand my own work, my choices and my techniques.

After that I started mixing new colours. I used a lot of complementary colours to create the grey tones and tertiary colours. After that I decided not to just start painting but to sketch the compositions first. After that I coloured them in with my new colours and finally I got my results!

THE ART OF ELABORATING

What I’ve learned in the process of elaboration on your own art is that you will really get to the core of your art practice. It just won’t do to try to recreate things without really understanding them. Knowing what is going on with them. Elaborating on your art will give you such valuable insights into your own work I would highly recommend it to any artist!

MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH APPLECROSS

The last couple of weeks I have been working on my first large panorama painting. And I have made time lapse art videos of the painting process. In this post I have put them all together chronologically. So you can watch me paint autumn in Applecross. And see how it is all coming together. Scroll down to watch the time lapse videos. Read on if you want to know more about my love affair with Applecross. Or check out this blog post about all my new painting ideas first.

MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH APPLECROSS

I am painting a view from the Applecross cafe looking from inside into the autumn walled garden. The Applecross walled garden is by far my favourite place on earth. Especially in autumn. This painting brings back memories of our North Coast 500 road trip back in the autumn of 2017. We travelled 500 miles in 7 days. We saw some of the most magnificent views the Highlands have to offer. And on the 5th day we stumbled upon the hidden gem in Applecross. A walled garden. Adorned by creepers in red and yellow, trees with ripe red apples and with a cafe with an inside grape. Its vines all over the ceiling. On top of that there was a crackling fire adding smells of hot wood. And I had the best brie-bacon-raspberry jam sandwich of my life. If that doesn’t sound like paradise than I don’t know what will…

when my love affair with Applecross started
Applecross cafe (2017)

PAINTING AUTUMN IN APPLECROSS

So, I am painting autumn in Applecross. Because this year we weren’t able to visit our beloved Highlands. But as an artist there is always more than one path to a destination. So I decided to just paint the place I was longing for.

The stage it is in now: I have painted the autumn garden, but still need to add the arbour. Next step is to add the interior of the cafe and of course the inside grape hanging from the ceiling. You can follow my love affair on Instagram as well:

After that the only thing left to do is to make myself a cup of coffee and something resembling that delicious sandwich and pretending I am at the other side of the North Sea. Happy autumn!

ART TALK: HOW I MAKE ART BEHIND THE SCENES

Last week I recorded an art talk about my XXL Fruits. You can watch it below or check out my YouTube Channel. Part 1 is about the Fruits in space. Part 2 is about the Fruits on earth. I hope you enjoy watching them!

Art Talk XXL Fruits – Part 1
Art Talk XXL Fruits – Part 2

ART TALK?

As you know I post my art on Instagram (@art.bythefran) but sometimes I feel like the context is missing. Like: what was my inspiration for the whole series and how did the artworks changed while I was painting them. Very often I start out with an idea and as I go along it changes into something different. You don’t see that when you just see end results. So that’s why I have started recording these short videos. To guide you through my artistic process and show you my art in real life, with me for scale haha!

THE INTENTIONS OF MY ART TALK

My intention is to keep recording these Art Talk-videos with every new series op paintings I finish. There’s so much going on behind the scenes in my art studio and I think it’s a shame not to tell you about it and show it to you. It really is about the process of making art. With all its unpredictability and serendipity.

first draft of plum in space summer 2019 in catalonia
First draft of Plum in space – summer 2019
second draft: plum on earth, autumn 2019 back home
Changed it into Plum on Earth – autumn 2019
art talk about how my art comes together: plum in space, oil on canvas by the fran, visual artist 2020
Added shadow and more texture in the plum
art talk about how my art comes together: plum in space, oil on canvas by the fran, visual artist 2020
Added colour and to the leaves
art talk about how my art comes together: plum in space, oil on canvas by the fran, visual artist 2020
Final alterations before discarding it – I really hated the painting at that moment – winter 2019
art talk about how my art comes together: plum in space, oil on canvas by the fran, visual artist 2020
Trying something new: making it a yellow plum – spring 2020
art talk about how my art comes together: plum in space, oil on canvas by the fran, visual artist 2020
Final painting: Yellow plum, back in space, summer 2020.

WHAT IT IS NOT

It’s not my intention to ‘explain’ my art or to put some sort of deep meaning into it during my art talk. I leave that up to the viewer, up to you. I strongly believe explaining art is killing it. Information is key but forced meaning means the death of it. I create art because it gives me freedom. I don’t want to force the viewers look in some direction. On the contrary! I would love you to come up with your own way of looking at it. Your way of viewing it within your personal or cultural art history.

XXL MIXED MEDIA COLLAGES: SPROUTING PARADISE

The mixed media collage series in my art studio are taking over! My newest series, Sprouting Paradise is a collection of nine xxl mixed media collages. My followers on Instagram came up with several ideas for naming this series. I combined ‘Colourful Paradise’ and ‘Colour sprouts’ and named them Sprouting Paradise.

sprouting paradise new xxl mixed media collage series of artworks by the fran 2020 art in the making
sprouting paradise new xxl mixed media collage series of artworks by the fran 2020
sprouting paradise new xxl mixed media collage series of artworks by the fran 2020

These collages are made with old and new artworks. Back in 2017 I made a couple of autumn inspired xxl acrylic paintings on paper. And they were just lying there ever since. In 2018 I made preliminary studies in ink before starting on the Majorelle paintings. These ink drawings were also just lying there.

So I decided to cut up the whole bunch and made them into xxl mixed media collages. I added a few new botanical shapes as well, inspired by the Tucson series. And then I just got started.

SPROUTING PARADISE IN THE MAKING

During the making of these xxl mixed media collages I made a couple of ‘art in the making’ videos for you. This way you can see my art process in more detail.

First video: making compositions

Second video: my gluing tactics the compositions

Usually you only see the result, but I just wanted you to show how many other artworks there always are before the end result. First edition artworks get discarded, changed, discarded again, etc. The cactus collage is a very good example of this process. Below I’ve posted all its stages for you so you can watch it evolve into its current form.

Initial shapes and colours

sprouting paradise xxl mixed media collage by the fran 2020
Third composition: less chaos but still not satisfied.

Sixth and final composition.
sprouting paradise xxl mixed media collage by the fran 2020
First composition. Wasn’t bad but the surroundings better suited another botanical shape.
Fourth composition: liked the third one better, but lets try…

sprouting paradise xxl mixed media collage by the fran 2020
Mission accomplished!
Second composition: total chaos.
Fifth composition: still nothing. That’s when I threw everything out except for the two cactus shapes.

SPECS OF XXL MIXED MEDIA COLLAGES

These Sprouting Paradise collages are all 42 x 59.4 cm (A2). They come signed and unframed. Since I’ve just finished them these aren’t listed in my shop yet, but I’m working on that, so stay tuned.

YOUR TURN:

What do you think of these new mixed media collages? What do they remind you of / would be your name suggestion? Would love to hear from you in the comments!

If you like these you might also like my Happy Habits series and/or my New & Familiar artwork.