Friday, January 22, 2010

A Week Hardly Spent

My resolution this year has been to go to the studio and paint four days a week. Blogging about it is a peripheral issue, but I think it does help me to get my thoughts straight about what I'm doing.

That being said, I had to take this week off. My truck conveniently decided to cost me a bunch of money and still have problems with acceleration. And then I got a bad dose of food poisioning, which has caused me to be stuck at home for essentially the whole week. The bus is not the best place to be feeling ill, even if you're really just exhausted.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In Progress: Coffee Cup 4 and Open Derilict

 8"H by 6"W

A new painting today, in the vein of some works I did last year. I collected some used cups from fast-food oriented places and painted them. This isn't nearly done, and looking at it I can see several problems with the ellipses and how they line up.

Working in the darks on this paintingI posted about day before yesterday. I feel like it's coming together pretty well and is close to the end. Tomorrow I have a meeting with my critique group and I'm anxious to see what they think of it. 

Having some trouble with my truck lately which makes getting to the studio interesting. I hope it won't cut into my production.

Monday, January 11, 2010

In Progress: Open Derelict

This painting has a more architectural focus but is also densely patterned. In the past I've battled the impulse to add a bunch of aimless colors to paintings. Sometimes when I follow my impulse the painting looks like a pile of jelly beans. With this in mind, I've used a very real setting to ensure that my pallete doesn't wander too far.

There's a house I photographed in Mississippi last year. It's been abandoned since the 1970's, down the street from my Grandparents. It's the first of the houses I have in mind- I want to do at least six paintings of this carcass before it's reclaimed by the forest that's around the south and west sides of the building. Not all of the paintings of this house have an architectural focus. This is actually the third painting of this site. The first two are here and here.

It's inspired by the work of Jennifer Bartlett, whose book I found to be amazingly interesting to read as well as to look at. Her work Air: 24 Hours is astonishingly different from her pointilist color fields and balances the geometric focus of her print work with a colorful and painterly approach.

The point of doing this particular painting with Bartlett as an inspiration is twofold: I would like to glean some experience relating my work to the past works of other artists, and I would like to participate in SWAN Day.
 SWAN Day is an open studios event for me. In my studio complex there are over 30 participating artists and we'll be hanging our works in the common halls. All works placed on display in the common areas must be inspired by women artists. At the end of March, this painting will be up for all to see in a hall with the works of others. And my studio door will be open for all visitors to come by and see.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Migraine Paintings

I get ocular migraines from time to time, and while they're not especially painful, they do have the consequence of making me unable to do practically any of the work I would like to accomplish. Weird shimmering blank spots deter me from driving, make reading impossible, and make reading a slow and arduous task.

So in these times of vision-bending nausea, I paint non-objectively. It's either that or sit in a heap in my studio and stare blindly at the floor.

All 5"H by 4"W, gouache and pencil on Rives BFK tan.

This third one has some features that are more coherent than the other pieces. I was coming out of it a little bit and decided to throw in some more easily understood forms.

My truck has been acting up a little bit lately so it will make getting to the studio an interesting task. We'll see how much painting gets done this next week.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In Progress: Tumult

 24"H by 54"W, on cradled birch panel. WIP
(click for enlargement)

The title of this painting is a clue to how difficult it has become for me to make further edits. Usually I reach a comfortable resolution with a painting and no longer have long staring contests with it. I can feel where the finish line is and give myself permission to put down the brush. This painting is an exception.

One of the stresses I often encounter is the feeling that composition fundementals elude me. This painting was started with the idea that I would use it to conquer this lack of expertise. Because of this goal, I run the risk of over-working and over-thinking the image. Hopefully my being aware of the peril will save me from not yielding a result.

These larger paintings are always a long process of uncertainty. But I think that quitting because of some mental difficulty is a self-serving impulse, so I'll only stop when the storage becomes impossible.