Pages

Monday, June 11, 2012

Growing and Changing


Strawberry Moon - Acrylic on canvas - 17x33"

There's a stack of large abstract paintings in my studio now, piling up. I'm working in a larger format and searching for a new language.

I'm tempted to envy the student who wants to reach a specific goal. If you tell me you need help drawing an eye or getting the colors right for a landscape painting then we know what the problem is and we can find a solution. But finding a path into painting abstraction is so broad, the results so difficult to judge, that I find myself reversing course at every stroke. I put it down, then wipe it out. I go to sleep disliking what I've done then wake up thinking it's not so bad.

Fountain - Acrylic on canvas - 16x32"

I'll try an approach structured on a grid and then I'll decide that I can't stand rectangles.

Dulcitos - Acrylic on canvas - 32x32"

A colorful effort convinces me that I like only minimal and subdued hues. I'm a pisces; we never know what we want. And we're moody. So I'm between decisions on which way I'm headed.  

What I've decided after several weeks of all out effort is that the painting has to be two things for me to stay involved. It has to be fun to do and it has to conform to my ideal of beauty. As usual, writing it down here on the blog, whether I share it or not, has helped me sort through my thoughts.

My job is not to sweat the judgment although that's the way my mind works. I'm just the monkey holding the paint brush. Some canvases get stretcher bars and some get painted over. It's all good.

Ascension - Acrylic & Oil Paint on canvas - 32x32"

By the way, some of you might be interested in seeing my "easel". I do have a real easel but I like painting on an angle and having a space below the work to put my paints and brushes. So this is what I'm painting on.


The board is some kind of fiberboard from the hardware store that you can stick pins into. I'm painting on unstretched canvas that I pin to the board. This works great for me and I can work on large canvases without stretching them or pinning them to the wall. I've run out of storage space for stretched canvases.

That's the news from here, folks. I'm cutting back a little on my blog posts for the summer while I work through the rolls of canvas I bought for this project. I'm 1/10th of my way toward my goal of 100 paintings. My former students know that I say you have to make 100 paintings before you get to the good ones so I'm taking my own advice and it's going to take a dedicated effort.

Blowing kisses on all your dreams; they are your roadmaps. xo

50 comments:

Melanie said...

I like them all ... but that first one. I want to dive into it ... it is summer and strawberry milkshakes to me :)

carlanda brown williamson said...

great post judy. i have the hardest time with abstract. does not come easily at all to me! your paintings are delectable! just like you! xo carlanda

Kimberley said...

My favorite is also the first one, but my thought was of watermelons and sunshine turned into liquid gold.

Judy, I love that you allow yourself to explore they way you do. You inspire me to do the same.

Camilla La Mer said...

Hi Judy!

I love your work!

Have you checked out Flora Bowley's "Bloom True" online class??? I took her first one last time around. It opened me up in such tremendous ways and it was so much fun!!!!

Here's her website: http://braveintuitiveyou.com

Just an idea...

Have fun exploring!!!!

Camilla La Mer

rebecca said...

like a bright and welcome light,
you inspire!

stephanie brockway said...

Love that 1st one! Ive been painting again too, since Pat Wheeler's class. large abstracts! and struggling with bright colors, then I dry brush on titan buff & whites, then more colors, too bright, Spackle,,,sand repeat...hoping something emerges or I'll need a power sander

Karen Cole said...

I always love a bit of comic relief. I laughed so hard at your easel creation.

I love that you are exploring abstract painting. How large are your canvases? Critiquing an abstract painting is crazy difficult. It is so very personal. You are very brave, but you also have such success with your encaustic work.

Hope your artistic adventures this summer are happy ones.

xo Karen

bridgette said...

"I'm just the monkey holding the paint brush" heehee :)

I so relate to this post Judy!! Doing the grid, then deciding that it's too griddy, wiping it out, painting over, re-routing, trusting the gut, not trusting the gut, making a mess before me and in my head....it's all good though. 100 paintings- great idea. Good luck!
And cant' wait to see you soon!!

Steph said...

My fave is Ascension. I understand the desire for change. Working larger in encaustic is what I am jumping into. It is a treat to see the creative process, as you work through.

Dayna Collins said...

I'm enjoying your new direction. Great idea for an easel, too!

purple bird art said...

Love your illustrated journey and the path you are traveling. Thanks for sharing your inspiring works. I'm looking forward to seeing more!

katie said...

you are a frickin genius! there, i said it. i am in awe of your paintings and most of all your comittment to the process you've undertaken. what a journey you're on...and your chair/easel is so cool - of course i must run and turn a chair upside down now too and buy rolls of canvas...:-) and ascension....love. love that piece. it makes me me happy, even the skin in my arms and legs wants to smile. blowing you paint-tinged kisses. xo

Petie said...

Love seeing your new direction and exploration!! Great post!! You're an inspiration and your new paintings are wonderful! Happy journey!! xoxoxo

Clare Wassermann said...

You just have to keep on going to get near whe you want to be and you may not know when you get their either.
Ascension speaks to mt Judy x

Sharon Tomlinson said...

Judy Judy, I love the 100 paintings theory! May I quote you? As always I enjoy all that you show and share. I especially love your chair easel too. You are such an innovator. I look forward to seeing all 100.

Jennifer W. said...

Hmmmm...abstracts are piling up you say, maybe time to list some of those stunners for sale? :-) have a fabulous Summer, Judy.. I'm sure that garden will keep you and your husband busy (and full) for the next few months. You know how envious of that garden I've always been...xoxox

rita maria said...

judy these abstracts are wonderful pieces! its amazing how you still created your encaustic feel with these. i especially like the marks you made on "ascension". was that oil pastel?

ha love the easel! i work on my art by putting a make shifted table in front of my easel. that way i have the table top with my supplies in front of me and i can put my board on the table but up against my easel. it works.

i love your spirit judy!

Jan said...

Judy, your work is beautiful. I especially love Ascension. What a neat summer project you have planned!Look forward to seeing your progress.

Lynn said...

It's fun to read your thoughts and feelings about your own art making and I laughed out loud when I saw your innovative easel. It looks like you are having fun! Enjoy the process! 100? Wow! Long hot summer. You will have quite the show ready when they are all done!

Mary said...

Judy, thank you for these words...they reflect many of my feelings.

And each one of these paintings speak to my ideal of beauty in one way or another.

Looking forward to seeing what else spills from your talented hands and heart.

Carol said...

I LOVE the direction your work is going. I don't think people know how difficult abstract is. You make it look easy when I know it's not. Love the color choices too-vibrant and inspiring. Guess I can't use the excuse of not having an easel anymore..?!/...

Chris said...

Oh those paintings! A calligrapher once said that there are some good letters at the bottom of the bottle of ink. Work-work-work. Finding your own language is hard work, and it seems that our language is always in flux. Parts of ourselves emerge in bits and pieces. Don't you think?

dorylyn said...

Love your new work!

Caterina Giglio said...

it would be death to have to do the same thing all the time, an artist needs to constantly be stretching, I so agree, you new paintings are wonderful and so cheery..

Deb's Artful Journey said...

I love your paintings and hearing about your process. I often feel the same way... bright, pales, change my mind... dont like it... like it better later. I will miss your posts but support you in painting, painting and painting. Being brave and finding your own way.

BTW, is that a chair turned upside down for an easel?

Bren said...

Ingenious use of a chair! So agree about the world of abstraction, it is such an intuitive thing, appreciate your thoughts on the struggle, as it's mine as well. Still there's nothing more freeing!

mary ann said...

you make me want to PLUNGE into the deep side of the ocean and leave my flippers and mask on the sand.
you always do that to me.
you just do.
someone in LA loves you.
oh!
i think it's me!

Vanessa said...

Ascension just blew me away. Most inspiring post.

Darlene K Campbell said...

Judy, Especially like Strawberry Moon and Ascension. Great that you are dedicating time to 100 paintings. I'm cheering you on. I LOVE your table top easel idea. I like to do my paintings propped up on my art table, too.

Melissa said...

Judy, your paintings are as beautiful as your humor and words! you're magnificent! xo

Amanda said...

Hi Judy,
Thank-you so much for sharing your journey with a new way of working. You already are a painter, and yet this change is a significant struggle for you. I'm an artist, but not a painter, althouh I yearn to be one. I make a start and after a couple of unsatisfactory attempts, I begin to lose hope and doubt the possibility of ever succeeding. Your post has given me the confidence to persist - and I won't expect too much of the first 100.
Good luck and as long as you continue to have fun, you are most certainly on the right track. Very best wishes,
Amanda

barefoot muse said...

The paintings are...each and every one...magnificent, delightful, and delicious. Mind and eye candy. You're truly a treasure trove of inspiration on many, many levels.

Stephanie Lee said...

From monkey to monkey, the pieces are stunning. The truth telling of the journey even more so. Ascension, divine.
ox

Keli McKinley Hansen said...

you always make me smile
and "ascension" is the
bombdiggity

Terrie Purkey said...

It's all about 'fountain' for me- love that piece! I never really considered painting on unstretched canvas - it must be cheaper. Do you use artist canvas or just from the fabric store? Primed w/ gesso first? My recent creativity has been directed really small like index cards and art journals but I'm really inspired by your desire to go big and it's SO very appealing. I may be ready to jump back in - and go big! Thanks.

Irene said...

Judy,my muse, you just slay me. I love these newbies but love more your courage, your creativity and your willingness to follow your heart wherever it may take you. As the Japanese say, kampai.

jsantini2 said...

Love the chair/easel. You're amazing & touch our souls on so many levels.
Jane

art spirit said...

So, so beautiful!!! All of them, as are you. thanks always for sharing your wonderful self and spirit filled art!

lynne h said...

judy, i resonate completely with your thoughts on finding an abstract voice. completely.

'ascension' really speaks...

xoxo

Tracy Verdugo said...

I so hear you Judy! I have been delving into abstracts for about a year now and I understand the love hate relationship. Most times I give into the longing to place something representational or symbolic in my paintings but sometimes I'm ok with the quiet meanderings of colour and tone( not that you could really call my paintings quiet! Lol!)I love "Ascension" It reminds me of a lyrical but more "Zen" Kandinsky. I love reading your blog. I always feel aligned with you in some way...this week my post is titled Change, change and more change! Come on by if you get a moment. Still hoping we get a chance to meet while I'm over....will be in the U.S August till December. Not long to go now!! :)))

kerri said...

Abstract is hard! People say "Oh anyone can do abstract." They do not know all the worrying and changing and questioning that goes into it!

I once had a friend who would go on to me about how abstract wasn't art, that anyone could do it, all you do is scribble and there you go. I sat her down with some paints once and told her to make a painting. It was a big blotch of brown mud by the time she was done. She may still not like my art, but she doesn't tell me any child could do it anymore. :P

I like the rectangles. :)

Parabolic Muse said...

Dear Ms. Wise;

I read over this post very carefully. And I feel that you and I were separated at birth. I wondered what that mark on my arm was, and now I know.

I wore my bracelet to Vegas. I didn't gamble, so it only had to give me happiness while I was there, not luck. And it certainly did give me happiness!

Here's the deal: any post which carries the correct spelling of judgment is alright in my book. So, thank you. Beyond that, I think your rectangles will look very nice on my monitor's desktop. Thank you for that, too.

Congrats for having a low-maintenance-blog summer!

XOX

Susan Tuttle said...

Love, love, loving these abstracts Judy! So great to hear from you. I hope you are well. Happy Summer!
XO

amy of four corners design said...

here via The Altered Page - loved your still life...and reading through your posts, I'm enchanted with your recent trip to foreign lands - sounds like it was so inspiring!

MB Shaw said...

Love seeing your process :)

Jenny Lee Wentworth said...

Happy Friday Miss Judy♥

I love seeing what you're up to, always something special!
I want to have a painty playdate!
Sending love to you,
Jenny :)

IsAug said...

So, is That what we pisces are? lol
Ingenious easel, btw.
I think you should just trust your instincts. They have taken you this far, and look at all you have accomplished :))
I take lessons :)

Anonymous said...

I love the freedom of your new pieces!!!....wonderful movement, luscious colors........yummy

lulu said...

100 paintings - and large ones, at that... You are my hero.

ZenDotStudio said...

I so love your words on the process of abstraction and can identify with them strongly as I mess about for months and have nothing much to show for it. I don't like, I think I might like and then no, it misses the mark.

I am searching for something and so far it seems just around the corner. I keep thinking I just might crack the code. That's what keeps pulling me forward. Like you I am drawn to beauty, to neutrals and subtlety.