Thursday, April 26, 2012

Being in a Funk

"Morning Light Play III", 12 x 16, pastel on Canson paper.

So I was on vacation and took a break from art and when I got back I found it hard to get back into my studio. I fell into a funk with all kinds of negative thoughts and feelings about my art and myself. This went on for the better part of a week. I stayed away from the studio. I didn't want to go in there but at the beginning of this week I finally started a painting. It was like pulling teeth. I wanted to be back on vacation. Not in my studio. Then on the following day I was in the studio and took a break to meander around facebook, I came across something interesting on a colleague Penny Otwell's Facebook page. It was a recommendation to read Robert Genn's post from April 17th called "No Fish Today?" which I did.  
I read it and without hesitation went back to work on the painting which I did not like yet but once again, I knew this was where I needed to be.  I knew there would come a turning point and that all I have to do now is stay into action. I left the studio some 4 hours later feeling better about myself and the painting. That was two days ago. Yesterday I could not wait to get into the studio and after another three hours or so I finished the piece.  I cleaned up and prepared the set up for my next painting which I started today, this time with a much better attitude.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Painting a Do Over

 "Into The Light", 19 x 25, pastel on sanded board.

I love paths, I love trails, I love to explore. There's something about the unknown. What's around the bend, what's behind the gate, what's on the other side of the door. When I'm painting, I love to see what my stroke will reveal. Where will it lead? What new thought will pop into my head with my next stroke. The sense of adventure and mystery awaits. I find myself asking these questions when I start a new painting. I find when I approach a new painting with a sense of adventure and excitement I'm starting with a positive approach and that is good. It wasn't this way for first painting on this canvas which ,by the way, I sanded and toned myself in a bright orange color. The painting was a little less then halfway done. The subject was of a scene in Zion National Park painted after a trip to said place. I was in awe and inspired by the place and took many photos. When I got around to starting the painting it was some months later. I started it with feeling of negativity and doubt because I lost my enthusiasm. My thoughts and memories of the place were not all that clear. I didn't know what story I wanted the painting to tell. It was a struggle from the very beginning and I finally gave up. The canvas sat on the floor of my studio face toward the wall for many more months until I decided to devote one of my weekly classes to the subject of painting a do over on a work in progress that wasn't going anywhere. Our process was to erase or hose down the existing work until all that was left was the ghost painting and then creat a new painting over it.

Unfinished work of a scene of Zion National Park before erasing.

So with this work erased, I proceeded to start a new painting. I chose one that told a story about light, adventure and mystery, the very things that excite me, things I love. My attitude was much improved. This time I would take the painting to completion.