Thursday, April 23, 2009

WIP - Clouds - and something of an Epiphany

Ya know how some paintings just seem to come easy? Just fly onto the canvas with little or no effort at all? Well, this isn't one of them. This one is a battlefield. Explosions and wounded all over the place. Bullets wizzing by your ears. There is shrapnel lodged in the doors of my kitchen cabinets.

Today I scraped off several large mounds of paint and am in the process of redefining some shapes... Someday this painting will come together. And someday soon, I hope, painting will come easier again.

I find myself searching for some meaning in in all this struggle. Does it mean I am coming onto a breakthrough of some sort? Does it mean I need to readjust some way of thinking that isn't quite working? Why am I searching for meaning in something that happens all the time? I know it is a cycle, but... sigh.

Reminds me of my toddler. I can usually tell when he is about to conquer some immense developmental milestone because he goes downhill for a little while. Not physically, but emotionally- upset most of the time, doesn't seem to know what he wants, easily frustrated, has trouble sleeping, etc. Its like he is fighting his way up a slimed, muddy hill covered in briars, and no one can help him get to the top. But when he makes his breakthrough everything is just hunky-dorey. Life is good.

That is totally how I feel with my artwork right now... like the last three or four have been really difficult. And I see a very labored look in them. I am so ready for a breakthrough of my own.

Hmmmm.... Ya know...

I have been looking at my recent paintings while typing this and I noticed that my brushwork has been getting progressively tighter and more controlled. All the while I have been goggling over other artists whose work is loose and much more impressionistic. No wonder I feel cramped. It could be that I am not feeling satisfied with staring at a photograph for days on end and need to spend more time outdoors painting the real thing.

Writing is good.

I am going ot have myself a little think on this, and I just might wipe this painting and start over... or just scrape off the larger globs of paint and reapply fresh paint with a larger brush and no glasses!


L.Holm said...

LOL!! You can always take up writing. You have a great way with words, too! Growth spurts are painful. Terrific analogy to your toddler's struggles and growth. I'm spending some time on that same frustrating slope myself, praying for some breakthrough.
I think your sky has some great energy to it! Must be all of that shrapnel flying...:-)

Julie Beck said...

i say finish it and if youre not happy with it, do another. this is beautiful!

and no, i never have a day where the painting is easy and it just happens. always a struggle!!

becky joy said...

Beautiful colors and energy in the brushwork. I've found that often the easiest paintings are my best ones. Some days are better than others.

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

often when they go easy and smooth as silk it takes awhile to convince myself that nothing is wrong and that this is how its suppose to be...if it happened more often perhaps I could get used to it and do it again and again...hey life is tough and then we go and stand in front of an empty canvas =;-))


Helen Trachy said...

I think you're too hard on yourself! Your clouds are colorful and I love the movement of it all. Really beautiful! Helen T.