Wednesday, December 19, 2007

X Files

My original idea for this post was thwarted by formatting problems, the likes of which I have never seen before. If I were an HTML pro, I could probably figure it out, but I'm that post will have to wait.

Instead, another one that has never been posted on my website, and never got trashed a few years ago, shortly after this picture was taken. Usually I'm right in taking such drastic measures, but now I kind of wish I had hung on to it and seen it through - never did finish the branch coming out of the water. It's a creek scene from a photograph I took in Florida, probably about 30" x 40" or larger.....I liked the reflections and was happy with that part, but evidently unhappy with others. Just exactly what, I'm not sure. Probably felt it had gotten too dark, which is often my downfall in unsuccessful pieces. Anyway, some paintings take weeks, months, or years before you figure out what needs to be done, and I didn't give this one a chance. Destroying work can be a very cleansing, liberating sensation....I highly recommend it, but the practice can be taken too far.


Sandy Maudlin said...

Hi Nick, This is gorgeous. Why don't you crop off the top and flip it upside down? You'd have to sacrifice that great brown shape in the upper right hand corner, though. Fluid acrylics? Sumptuous!!!

perugina said...

Norman Lindsay my favourite watercolour Artist burnt all his work that he didn’t want others to see just before he died!

Why does one do this?

Just as well for you that you have a photograph of this one that you didn’t want anyone to see. (Insert puzzled look)

Personally I think its beauty is in the way you captured the reflections.

Are you sure you trashed it?

I’ll settle for a scrunched Nick Simmons Original.

Michelle Himes said...

This one looks like it had a lot of promise, Nick. I've trashed and/or cropped things I shouldn't have many times. Sometimes you just need to put it away for a while, although where you can put a 30 x 40 piece "away" is a mystery to me. :-)

Sandy said...

Although I think it is sad that this has been trashed...and I know artists do it all the time for whatever reasons.I like that you have shared with us,not just your success, but your perceived "failures"
What I also like to hear is that it sometimes takes weeks, months, years to finally resolve some paintings....and that
there is light at the end of the creative tunnel

RH Carpenter said...

At this point in your painting life and career, Nick, you'd best be saving every scrap of paper that even looks like a doodle or a quick idea of a painting - it may be worth millions in the future!

William K. Moore said...

Now if we can only locate the hobo that recovered this at the city dump.. the work will be brought back to life and given its proper due. Kind of reminds me of the scene in Papillon where he is running through the jungle with the detective from Barney Miller.. just before the natives give him a proper darting. I'll give this a three pearl rating.

Anonymous said...


The blog is a good idea. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with the posts on Wet Canvas. This piece had a great start. I like the shimmer of the reflections.

Ruth Ann Greenberg

Anonymous said...

Greetings Nick:)

I'm selfishly pleased that you'll be sharing your thoughts and images in the blog format.

Naturally; an innate curiousity exists;..where I want to read the shared thoughts, philosophies, rants,struggles, triumphs, etc;..-ad infinitum of other creative minds and personalities. It helps to make one feel less alone on those solitary days in the studio.........

In regard to this piece;......hmmm.; my weary eyes, man; it was certainly a keeper; and with some masterful work, (really; just-a-bit:);...woulda, coulda,..been even more striking than this unfinished version ALREADY is. (WAS:).

Hell, ;.hindsight is 20/20.

Just keep painting these brilliant things my friend. Best Wishes, -Scott

Anonymous said...

i think i have some of nick's used paper towels and maybe an old styrofoam coffee cup i dragged out of his garbage can at one of his workshops...

you can bet they'll be going on ebay when their auction value is at peak pricing.

ha - just kidding nick (and the rest of you whose hearts leapt at the thought of owning those artifacts) !

i never thought there would be an aftermarket for your waste products - if only i had more vision...

chris =)

Nick said...

SandyM - too late, it's a goner. don't remember if it was w/c or acrylic.

PG - burning is especially satisfying, I know David Burge endorses that method. It got trashed because I didn't think see fit to finish it, but that doesn't mean it can't be used to demonstrate a point. Lots of work gets photographed along the way for analysis and record-keeping.

Michelle - yep, too much stuff around as it is. I have a handful in progress that are quite a bit larger, it all takes up space....and one's studio is NEVER big enough.

Sandy - I'll have to post the Paris pic that caused such an uproar on was the right decision, and need to get back to V. 2.

Rhonda - can I get an advance?

Bill - that was a great scene...a little more at stake, no pun intended (before the dart hit). The hobo/dump idea has distinct marketing potential, will put that on the table at the next meeting.

Ruth - not much worth keeping up with there anymore, it's the worst I've ever seen it. Ghost town. Hopefully the new management can triage and find a pulse.

Scott! - you're one of the people I'd like to spotlight here, if you'd accede. Love that piece on your blog I recently saw, and will be checking back for new entries.

Chris - we've got some things to hash out down there, won't be long now..chill some Cokes, turn off the pager, and turn on the amps!

Anonymous said...

The art of destruction or the destruction of art is something I consider myself quite good at....don't wish to blow my own trumpet but it's true...the guys at the local rubbish tip would have a collage measuring the size of a football field if they were to have saved what has come out of my bin over the years. I often think of what they must say when they receive at least 2 scrapped nudes per week and maybe 4 or 5 landscapes(initial intention.
I think you made a mistake in destroying this one though. It may be worth making a place to rest initially dodgy works until some final judgement day maybe a year down the track. At least you still have a jpeg of it...? good enough quality to make small giclée.
Fantastic blending of hues and tones there.

Anonymous said...

Of course burning is to be reserved for those very special pieces.
I know some with forensic minds can identify the difference between the ashes of Arches and Fabriano......... at a glance.
I aint that good yet...working on it though.

Nick said...

Great to have you aboard, Dake - now we ought to be able to navigate some truly rough seas here! I'd like to have a ritual burning up on the hill someday, each of us contributing an actual quality work we care about - a new twist on the blood brother thing. Whaddaya say? BTW, Sherlock Holmes could identify 140 different varieties of ash....w/c paper would be child's play for a man of his powers. Elementary, in fact.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Nick, Sherlock had many powers, but the fellow I had in mind is much closer at hand.

joel said...

well, well, well. this is where all the cool people are hanging out these days? i leave the room for five minutes and you all go wild!

at fist i thought this piece was a stunning abstract. but then i looked again. it is (was) a piece of discovery! shame it is gone.

-- joel.

Nick said...

Dake - you can only be referring to one person...speaking for myself, at one time I might have been able to identify the difference between Zig Zag and JOB.

Joel - what a surprise! Didn't know you were a denizen of the sphere also, will come check it out. Great to see you.


You should me scrap my work lol, i do the same scene untill i get it ... like the colors in this one !

Nick said...

Jim - I find the detached approach empowering - scrap away!