One Thing Leads To Another

Posted by on Dec 8, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

In painting, there are daily studio failures, but you just keep painting over and pushing on. I talked about this happening in my Big Skate painting. I felt there was more at stake in that painting as the painting was really big and I had spent hours and hours on different ideas before completing painting over them and changing them. Yet in the end, I was happy with the final painting and so I kind of forgot the hours spent along the way.

Right now I am working small and experimenting with my new painting direction and so the stakes feel low. This feels good because nothing is deemed precious, yet at the same time you can work and work and work and then decide it’s just not happening and it is time to move on. It can at times seem frustrating but since I’ve been here many times before, I have to trust that it is just part of the process and to not think of it as hours wasted.

This happened this week on this little painting. I started with a photograph I had taken with no clear idea how I would proceed as I discussed in my last post. The photograph was shot on a run — a gorgeous burst of pink thistle blooms against a green back drop. I was having fun with the painting and thought it was almost finished perhaps two or three times. Each time, I thought, it just needs one more little thing, which led me to react to those marks and make more changes until then I didn’t like it anymore, and I kept working until I liked it again and then went through the same process. Eventually, after sleeping on it (not literally,) and working on it another half day I painted over the entire thing except one area that I really liked thinking that there was still something there. But alas, no! I lost interest in the initial chase and decided I was done. I scraped it down as it had gotten pretty thick and then painted it over green. I then changed focus and went and worked on pets.

At the end of the day, I had mixed a lovely grey to paint on the edges of two pet portraits. I had mixed too much color and rather than waste it, I thought I would add it to my “green” disaster, leaving a little history peeking through at the edges. Suddenly it reminded me of these large granite boulders in Yosemite and a new direction was born. Stay tuned for the final painting…