Which do you prefer?

©Laura Gaffke, "Summer's End" acrylic, 10 x 10 inches 2011

A glorious sunny day to you! At least it is here in CT which is a nice change from yesterdays moody, overcast sky. I find I am very affected and inspired by the weather and changing seasons. Although I embrace each season for it’s own unique gifts, the end of summer  always leaves me a little sad. Maybe this is why zinnias hold court this time of year~to cheer us up when everything else seems to be dying off. This flower always gives me a lift and makes me smile.I spent monday painting them outside in my garden while savoring the warm sunshine on my skin. Since the flowers were picked last week they had started to wilt, making them a bit wonky and a little more interesting to paint. While working my thoughts returned to my use of color which I have been thinking a lot about. I love the vibrancy of the hot colors against the layered turquoise background. The more I think about it I believe my color choices are a direct reflection of how I feel about life, always striving to focus on the positive and wanting to express this in my work.

©Laura Gaffke, "Alive to the Day" acrylic, 10 x 10 inches 2011

Today I did a variation on the zinnia painting. This one was much looser and seemed to pour out of me. I allowed myself to be freer, more expressive and for the underpainting to show through. I had to make myself stop before I lost this spontaneity which is really hard for me. I really like them both, for different reasons. I am curious which one is your favorite and why. There is no right or wrong answer so don’t be shy. We each look at art from our experiences and are drawn to different things at different times so please share freely in the comments. Working as an artist is primarily a solitary practice and I greatly value the feedback and conversation. Many thanks you lovely souls!






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5 thoughts on “Which do you prefer?

  1. I like them both! But if I really had to choose just one of them… I would choose the second one.
    I like the simple form of the second one… the painting is busy intriguing yet simple and neat.

  2. In agreement with Joy that they are both good but I, too, prefer the second one. I believe it’s because although I admire the talent to takes to make a more realistic painting, my eye prefers to have something to look at that I, the viewer, get to interpret via my own sense of what it is and what it’s telling me. A more loose and abstract painting makes it much more personal and interesting. It’s similar to the difference between showing it all in a nude painting or leaving parts of the body covered. For me, leaving something covered up is more provocative.

  3. Thanks for your feedback ladies! I have been drawing a lot this summer and couldn’t resist painting these instead of drawing them. They were fun to paint in a more representational style but it didn’t feel like “me” so I took the information I gained and then paint from my heart. SO FUN!

    I am curious whether you find the need to balance the “looking” and “seeing” with free expression in your own work?

  4. Love both – but I’d choose the 2nd one as well. The squares on the left seem like windows drawing me over to enjoy the last bits of summer light.
    I can hardly believe that tommorrow is the 1st day of Autumn!

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