Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Still chugging along...

Those little globs of paint add up after a while. Still not quite there yet. Only a couple hundred thousand more brush strokes to go! Haha!

Water, blocking it in.

Oops. Lost some definition in a few spots, but it feels good to have the base down for this chunk of the painting. I love posting these progress pics because they help me see what needs to be changed. 
It's so much fun watching a painting work its way out of the brush. 

Here's a close-up of some really fun, juicy paint. I am soooooo loving the simplicity of these roots!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My little helper

Ha! Bless his heart. 

Both boys want to help with this one, but the younger (age 2) didn't bother to ask for permission. I had trouble reprimanding him, because I was so impressed with his brushwork. And he handled the palette knife and my brushes very well, with way more respect than most children give a tool of that sort. I think it is time to upgrade his painting supplies from watercolor to something more opaque, buttery and all out luscious! Well, close to that. I'll start him on oils when I move into the new studio space. 

Here is the clean-up so far. I really like these roots and can see why so many artists choose to stop at this stage. I will not be stopping, though. 

I've made some progress this week, but can't help but feel I am a little behind schedule. I have a 3.4'x6' canvas waiting to be primed and started. It sits behind me and stares, waiting, waiting for its turn at transformation. 

I find myself falling in love with this painting regardless of its incomplete imperfections. There are a billion and one brush strokes in this piece and and at least that much more to finish it. Learning to slow down and find joy in the process. A lesson that is never fully learned, I think. 

Blocking it in

Please excuse the glare. 

Slapping on some color. Still just base coats. Nothing final yet. I am really enjoying this piece! 
My youngest has been on a Lego movie kick, so when I look at certain parts of the painti

Funny how strong connections in our brains can be with very little effort on a conscious level. When I was a teenager I would listen to music while reading. My favorite pastime was immersing myself in a good book. Anyway- there is an album called In My Time by Yanni that I listened to while reading and to this day, when I listen to songs from that album, I can see the images my imagination conjured up from the books I read. Some were fantasy books with Knights and castles and mythical creatures, but the most vivid images are those from All Quiet on the Western Front. As I replay snippets of the music in my mind, I see yellow and pale lime green leaves on trees, pattering against one another in the gentle breeze in a scene described in the book. The main character was alone, away from the blood and terror and loss, and he saw beauty in the simple things most everyone of us takes for granted. I still love that book.
There are emotions and colors and smells and sounds all wrapped up and forever connected in my mind to a few quiet, rippling succession of notes. 

Each painting is the same way. Whatever we focus on, our thoughts and emotions are tied into every brush stroke. My business mentor told me once that an artist paints from the heart. Much more literally than we like to admit. He said that you can always tell when an artist is struggling with something in thereI personal life because the paintings are off. But only until the artist can put their heart back to rights. So true. 

My creative bursts are cyclical. But I have had my fair share of letting putter crumminess affect my work. 

One day, I will keep a record and see if the moon or the stars or the seasons have much influence over my insanely productive periods, or if it is all just chance... Or the Cosmos tossing me bits of artistic growth, like cookies. Sweet little rewards for painting when I don't want to, or when I feel like I have lost forever that divine connection we mistakenly call inspiration.  

Jibber jabber. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Déjà Vu

Untitled WIP

Nick wants to call this déjà Vu. 
Two or three years ago I started painting this image. It irritated the life out of me. I shredded the canvas and tossed the remains on the burn pile. Nick has been mourning over that painting all this time so I am giving it another go just to make him happy. 😄 the first piece was jacked in so many ways.  I wasn't comfortable working this size at that point, plus I wasn't comfortable doing as much rearranging Nature the way I do now. It was a good experience, though. Sometimes an object gets too big for its britches (even if just in our own minds) and it needs to be put in its place. The best bit of knowledge I took from that experience is that a painting is just a painting and I won't die or lose all my hair or witness the world imploding just because a painting doesn't turn out the way I hoped.
 I am glad I got to start fresh with it instead of trying to eternally try to fix a painting I didn't like. Goes back to the bones of the piece. If the underlying structure isn't good, the odds of working it into something good are pretty slim. BUT!!!! This is important- if the basic composition works you can do all sorts of tweaking and find yourself with something worthwhile.  (That's tweaking, not twerking. Please- no twerking in the studio. Or the garden. Or the house. Or anywhere else for that matter.) 

I am enjoying this round with this subject much better than the first. I knocked down some trees, planted some others, pushed some to grow in a different direction and will be taking full advantage of my artistic license in the rest of the piece. 

Working to have this finished for the July Showcase along with the next painting in line- another bigger piece that I am soooooo looking forward to painting. 
I may or may not share the process on that one. Might just be selfish and keep it all to myself. Muahaha!