It's finally here---the end of 2012. As I mull over the large number of unfinished paintings in my studio, I realize that the good (and bad) news is that there are not enough lifetimes to complete all the ideas that run through my head (often at 3am, unfortunately). Nevertheless, I am a lucky person indeed if that's the worst of my troubles.
Normally, December is a fruitful time in my studio. I've finished teaching for the year and can concentrate long blocks of time on painting. However, this year I elected to get carpal tunnel surgery on my right (painting) hand. It's been difficult not being able to do much more than put a daub or two on a painting, but I know I am on the mend and just need to be patient.
Armed with a new ipad (with Siri voice activation), I realized that one thing I could do is make audio notes on paintings, describing how I might fix/finish them in the future. Sometimes just being able to articulate what you want to do to a painting satisfies the creative impulse--at least for the time being.
Here is a small sampling of some of my unfinished paintings---which may or may not see the light of day in 2013.
My acrylic marbled painting "On The Edge Of Her Seat #1" began simply enough. In my typical fashion, I "sculpted" the figure by muting/overpainting everything around the figure. Back when I began this painting in 2011, I thought I'd successfully completed this painting (see Step 4). I framed the painting, showed it to others who liked it, and put it into a few shows. Looking at it later, I felt like it still needed SOMETHING to make it stronger. So in October 2012, fellow artist LaVonne Tarbox-Crone took a good look at this painting and taped some "mockup" pieces of magazine clippings to the piece (see Step 5) to show me how I might improve it. A few steps later (adding the horizontal line and then softening it a bit, and adding the white window panes behind the figure), and my painting was finally complete.
Admittedly I haven't been using my blog as often as some artists do, but since I'm very fond of showing & describing how a painting is built (from the ground up), I thought I'd post the various stages of one of my recent paintings "Rose Grid".
You can see that I started out with a mottled, stamped background (this is acrylic on Tyvek paper by the way).
Next, I drew a grid on the paper and created a vase (actually two vases) of flowers.
I added some more flowers and a few leaves (some are collaged on) and called it "Rose Grid". Enjoy!
A few of my fellow artists and I took a workshop from Ed Labadie in which we worked from "chaos to order"---spraying our paper and dropping in acrylic colors, and letting things run together. Then we stand back and evaluate. We might decide to keep things abstract, or (in my case) add some subject matter (fish) to the whole thing. Here's an image of what my painting first looked like, and where I'm at right now....this thing is still in progress, mind you.
After years of resisting, I think it's high time I started blogging about art-related topics like many of the rest of my fellow artists seem to be doing. In this space, I will be writing about paintings in progress (watercolor, acrylic and acrylic marbling) and share some insights that I hope will enlighten artists and anyone who is interested in the act of art-making.