The Second Time Around

Way back in time — 1961, to be precise — Debbie Reynolds starred in a film, “The Second Time Around”, and Frank Sinatra sang about how love can, indeed, be better the second time around. While we go about marking important firsts in life, maybe we should think more of those second times.

That’s definitely true with art, I think, and we’re often advised to draw or paint the same scene more than once. I’ll admit, I find it difficult. Oh, in a general sense, I think we all do it to a certain extent. Trees, for instance. Yes, I draw and paint trees over and over and over. But it’s not one single tree. I paint skies again and again, but, again, it’s not the same sky.

Rarely do I go back to repeat a specific scene or re-do a specific project. Recently, though, I made an exception. Remember my fun little drawing of sunflowers?

I made no attempt whatsoever to draw realistic sunflowers. This was a practice exercise for learning how to use watercolor pencils. I didn’t want to spend time on the drawing aspect; I wanted to get right to the color application.

But then I decided to go back and do the project again, putting in a bit more time. It was surprisingly difficult. Part of me kept saying, “Hey, you’ve already done this. You’ve learned from the lesson, so just move on.” Instead of heeding that voice, I continued drawing. Again, it wasn’t an attempt at botanical accuracy, but I did want to create a somewhat more realistic interpretation of these sunflowers.

While I’m not happy with the background watercolor, I like the painting overall. In some ways, though, I don’t think it has the same charm and liveliness of the first quick sketch. I do like the boldness of the colors. Of course, I just like sunflowers. While it’s often said that third time is a charm, I don’t plan to repeat this lesson.

But you will be seeing more flowers. Yellow flowers. I do like flowers. They’re bright. They’re beautiful. They’re playful. They make art fun, and for me, that’s what art is really all about. It’s about learning, and it’s about growing, but most of all, it’s all about fun.

3 Comments

  1. i often have wondered about this. I was told once a “true” artist will do one scene or object over and over again. Kind of made me feel inferior. I believe i have only re done something if at any time i am unhappy with my first version. Other wise it’s one and done for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! I think it’s fine to “generically” repeat drawings or paintings — trees or birds or roses, as an example — but to draw or paint the exact same thing again and again doesn’t excite me. The idea doesn’t inspire me, and I don’t think it would help me improve. I re-did the “Sunflower” project because I thought the flowers were beautiful and I wanted to see what I could do, but since I had playfully done it before, I really couldn’t stay interested in the drawing. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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