I’m recovering from a particularly gut wrenching bout of paint fling. Lest you think I’m complaining, let me assure you I’m not.
To back pedal a wee bit. My entire body of work from 2009 on started from the notion that I will let my tools of experience guide my hand via my heart. And lest you think this is a tad bit over the top smaltzy, you would be right.
By that I mean, throw all caution to the wind, and chuck any plans, any ideas swimming in my head, and be totally engaged in the moment of painting. It is not always pretty. In fact, it’s usually bitterly nauseating. In spots.
My head questions my sanity all the time, make no mistake. Most artists I know have a notion, then they work out said notion in sketches and color studies. Setting up models, lighting, situations.. Hats off to them. I have lost all patience with that. I’m not saying ‘my way is the right way’, but it is My Way. I own up to my trials and tribulations throughout. I chose this.
I am in the middle of a series of 3, one of which is finished. They all started with purple toned panels, which- surprising to me, changed most of my color choices. I often change up at least one thing from one piece to the next. Purple was it for these. The one completed went through drastic changes. The figure started out being surrounded by foliage of green, which sat well for me for about 6 hours. Then, yuk, too expected. I glazed lots of transparent blues, violets over it, until it became darkened, as if by age. That too didn’t last long. Then it was, get the knife out. Add globs of paint. Orange. It needs orange SKIN! Yes! who doesn’t want orange skin in their portraits. On this went, week to week. The changes made me dizzy.
Now, regular type sane variety painters would be wagging their fingers at the screen right now chastising me for not doing preliminary work.
And they would be right. This type of behavior is what preliminary work was invented for. One needs to predict ‘the problems’, right? Truth is, I have embraced my scrambled mind. Within the chaos of that, I find a certain clarity, a knowledge I didn’t know I had. This knowledge is a combination of things. Of 35+ yrs of painting experience, and that open heart I mentioned. Pretend I have antennae on my head. That’s the best visual I can offer you. I pick things up, and go with them. I don’t claim to know all the answers when it comes to painting, but I do know my answers to it. And that’s all I need. One step at a time.
Embrace the unknown. The worst that can happen is that you’ll get lost enough to have something to find. It’s quite a ride.
If you’d like to follow along on my painting journey, please stop by here on facebook for works in progress.