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