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Starting over to create new work

This is a strange question, but have any of you ever gone through a phase of wanting to get rid of all your old art work and starting over? I have been sorting out old work and have been really thinking about completely cleaning house and taking some time to see if I can create a whole new body of work. Just wondered if anyone else has done this.

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Yep! Though I have put it all away and gave away anything decent and started over. Then when I pulled out the stuff I had put away I realize it’s different, not as good as the new and I am happy to ditch it and see my progress.

I don’t think I will ever stop reaching though I think what I want to paint will somewhat solidify but time will tell.

Do you mean by subject, medium or technique?

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Yep that is pretty much what I have been doing too. I made a point the last few years to try all the mediums and found that the two I enjoy the most are watercolors and acrylic so moving away from oils (just don’t like the drying time involved). Also found the I really like mix media. I am glad I took the time to learn but now I want to just focus on what I really like. Glad to know someone else has gone through this phase too.

Sunny I took a look at your blog.
Are you creating mainly abstract work these days?

Hey! No, I just haven’t been posting much. I have had a lot of commission work and I don’t photograph or post those.

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Good to hear you are getting lots of work Sunny!

I was wondering how your abstract work was going. I know a few other artists that have moved over to abstract and finding great success with it. Though I did love their other work too.

Mary… I had a big clearout the other day of what I now consider all my ‘bad art’. I have only recently got to a point where I’m happy and comfortable with what I’m doing.
I’m not so much creating a new body of work as just progressing to a place where I want to be, if that makes sense.
I’m still trying out things too that are way out of my comfort zone. I think it all adds to the way we grow. :slightly_smiling_face:

Sunny, this is actually a healthy thing for an artist! Yay! I would suggest, rather than toss your old work, to use it as a base to add new things on top! I’ve done this several times in my career and have actually sanded down my old work which leaves some wonderful things from which to add new inspiration on to! This process led to one of my strongest, most recognizable style yet! I’m excited for you!

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I am going through this right now. Forced by a house move and a major relocate to pause (everything is packed!) I am wondering what will happen when it is unpacked and whether or I should take the opportunity to do a great big “re-boot”. That includes ditching my websites and starting afresh with a new blog. Possibly ditching Facebook as well. I am going to hold off until the move is complete in case this is all a symptom of the stress of house-moving. Would like to hear what you decide to do.

I have to sort my stuff every year because I only have a small attic space to store things in. I look through old pastels, for example, and either scrap them totally or, if they’re on multimedia paper like Art Spectrum or even pastelMat, I chuck turps over them and scrub em around (gently) with a bristle-brush to remove the main image. Then I can coat them with pastel primer and start over (probably a couple of times before the paper gets too worn out). Similarly with any oil paintings on MDF board, out comes the sandpaper and off goes the image. It might sound like being a skinflint, but many surfaces are re-usable.
I’m rather restless right now in my painting, having reached a few plateaus, and am exploring some new techniques in pastel. Also having a play with monoprinting.
Starting over, refreshing a blog or website as well as one’s work, is something we should do every so often; it clears mental cobwebs, allows us to separate ourselves from our more average creations and give ourselves permission to go in new directions.


I had no idea you could do all that with pastels Christine! Quite an education. I don’t even know there was such a thing as pastel primer.
Took a look at your website. It’s lovely!

Yes lately I has been working on abstracts, kind of experimenting.

Wow sounds a lot like what I am doing. Need to move and don’t want to drag everything with me, good reason to really look over the old stuff and start sorting.

Sometimes I just gesso over a painting I really hate and make another.