Taken most of March working and reworking a large acrylic painting. By the middle of March I was so frustrated with working and reworking and putting in the hours on this large 4x5 foot painting I gave up. Put the brushes down and swore off the creative, artistic life forever. I decided to do a little Spring Cleaning despite the entire month not being Springlike at all. I reorganized my basement and organized the framing end of my artwork and where things were to go and what I actually had. It has been two weeks and I am still not accomplished this hurculean task. Meanwhile, another project at the Fort has come up. New work and a revamp of the old. A good decision to take off some pictograph symbols and extend the mural makes a better flow to the room.
I decided to reveal some figure drawing practice, since this does take up some of my time as well. Instead of taking my old standby to figure club, the step out on a limb to take only my paint and see what happens. I was quite happy with the outcome after 1 1/2 hours from a live model. 9x12 acrylic on canvas.
This was a practice piece before I headed out to paint the live model. This was done in about the same time but from a photograph. 9x12 acrylic on canvas.
Most of this week was dealing with the snow. Also in the artistic realm it was dealing with the thought process for a new painting. Another 4x5 foot canvas is on the wall. A general idea wiped out repeatedly until I had to give up on it altogether before I went mad and dived to deep down into the rabbit hole. I feel a weight lifted, having given up on the idea. I am excited to start in a new direction this week. Any artwork I did get completed this week only entailed some thumbnail sketches. I always go back to doing these when in a stressful state of mind. It is my kind of meditation.
The snow is overwhelming. It is getting to me this week. Having to think about walking the neighbors dog while she is away in some beautiful warm beach somewhere. But then it really is kind of peaceful when your out in it. Then jarred awake again from the scraping the hard concrete clearing the walks for the 100th time. Well, I exaggerate. It seems like 100.
I feel good about getting something done in which I rarely accomplish. When I first built this grainery (silo) frame I had intended to put wooden frames in the window but I ran out of time to do so by show time. I thought I would never get the inspiration to redo this piece. But I guess it was in my original thought process to do it this way. I am glad to have rebuilt and added old weathered wood frames. I hope I have another opportunity to show this piece again, otherwise it will sit in my basement with the rest of my paintings. 24x48 inches faux steel grain bin with 4 10x10 pastel paintings.
I had a horrible time this week with color combinations and becoming bogged down in my own mind. I kept adding more and more colors that didn't want to fit into the scene. The basic problem is not working out the composition in the first place. Makes the painting to have no where to go. 12x12 pastel on paper
Another terrible day of trial by fire. Perhaps the fear of color has rubbed off? Or maybe it's the size. I upgraded to 12x12 square and seem to rush it to finish in a short amount of time (one hour). When things are not working on a smaller sketch, it seems so much easier to fix, than when the problems occur on a larger piece. The time limit thing is a game with my own head. The day is only complete if I have at least one painting done.
And it continues. I thought I would just do a monochromatic painting. Then I couldn't leave it alone and added some yellow for my lights. Ugh. There is always next week.
Then to end off the week with painting backdrops for the local theater group. 6 4x8foot panels and 2 2x8foot panels.
Today I decided to do a progression of my process. This will be for a talk, I was asked to present about my work, this week.
After letting the oil painting dry for a couple of days, I went back to finish this one. Still not satisfied with the color application. Strong frustration in trying something new. 16x20 oil on canvas.
Working on the same premise of wanting to try oil painting I dashed this 16x20 off for as long as my frustration level could handle. I love the smell of oil. (I don't necessarily think this love is mutual to my body or mind...maybe time will tell). I love the feel of oil. That slick way that it goes on to the canvas. My need for speed and getting things down fast is what is frustrating me. I love how it blends but not when I don't want it to blend. Then there is the brush thing. I am not using the right one I know. But it is this get the color on without blending into other colors. I gave up after an hour and moved on to another pastel, just to get a feeling of accomplishment tacked to my motivation board.
Feeling a bit on angst, as always, from finishing a major piece it was back to the easel. After spending a very productive weekend cleaning up the studio and basement and wood shop, there was a need to continue. So I painted over some old 16x20 canvas and the intention was to paint in acrylic as fast as possible and get it down. As always color frustrated me as I switch mediums. Overall a good test as this piece worked itself out in quick time. As much as I wanted it to anyway. It is not a masterpiece but it does put a check in the corner of things on my mind to cross off. Back to pastel.
After finishing the acrylic I was itching to pick up those pastels once again. I haven't worked on a pastel since well before Christmas. Set that timer again and go forth and multiply. 9x9 pastel on paper.
As January of this new year begins so does a new feeling of change. Where do I go from here? This year feels different. Not really knowing why? In context, our figure drawing group is planning a group show. Figure in Relationship. Thoughts are being pondered. The challenge was put out there of it being BIG. So this piece is 3ftx4ft. I'm going with it even if it was supposed to be 4ftx5ft. A practice run so to speak. In order to do something this large I needed to revert back to my Acrylic days, so long ago. The struggle of remembering how this stuff went on canvas. The struggle of story and memory. Moving through heritage photos of my life, my namesake. It has been a thought provoking month. I have a new canvas of 4ftx5ft and my plan is something a bit more uplifting. Stay tuned. Slowly I am eking out my story. Perhaps this is what art is all about. Forget the technique. Find the story. This may be the year of searching for the concepts? Or just another year of searching?
Because of the size of this piece I could not work it in pastel. Well I suppose I could figure out a way of doing so, and would love to try. I didn't want to be struggling with glass/protection for the piece. Perhaps the next will utilize some multimedia representation. Now I need to come up with an artists' statement. Symbolic representation and perhaps meaning. Or maybe just let the viewer figure it out?
A new year. Bring it on.
Nature's Nutrients: Keeping up with Man's Destruction
Your Are Here Series of exhibitions, finding new ways to think about the future of our environment, project by the University of Lethbridge Gallery.