This week I struggled with composition. While I had some idea of what I wanted - I had really liked the black or dark red vertical bar on the side, which I copied from my practice painting, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for the middle section. I also knew I wanted a big, black, rectangular block in the middle with some hole cut out from the middle of it, but I wasn't sure of the orientation of the rectangle or the hole. I drew a bunch of sketches and thumbnails, and I even played around with turning the canvas sideways for a little while. I almost convinced myself that I wanted to turn the canvas, before I realized that I liked it the original way better. So, without knowing exactly where I was going, I started to paint the black bar on the left side. I was pretty happy with how that went, and the edges I got on that, so I decided to push forward on the design that seemed to make the most sense to me, and just felt right.
So I went on with the painting, and then realized I was unsatisfied with it. I was no longer bothered by the darkness - I think that merely complements the subtlety - but now the shape in the front was too far removed from that ground. I really want those shapes and colors to blend together, almost as if the shapes in front are sinking into a sea of the reds. So at that point, I began to go back in, sometimes into the still wet black paint to bring in some red colors, but more with a pretty bright red over the bottom right hand corner. As I worked back and forth with the colors - pushing and pulling edges, I began to get the effect I was really looking for. I think the secret is really to not stress the work too much. Because the paint is opaque, it layers well, and nothing is completely permanent. I can just keep working at it until I reach the effect and result that I envision.