Sunday, November 20, 2011

Back to the Painting

Some of you may have been watching as I worked my way through, into, and around a painting that I started back in June/July. I'm sure I mentioned that I get these bursts of creative energy, during which time I feel a strong urge to make something other than a hat. Usually that urge lasts four to seven days, and during that time I need to make and complete what's whirling around in my brain. For some reason, if I don't finish in that time, the piece just won't work—the story changes, the images become irrelevant to me, the whole thing just stops making sense and falls flat. And that's what happened with this piece. But I'm stubborn, and I don't like to start something new until I've finished what's already been started. So, difficult as it was, I kept banging my head against this piece trying to make it "move".

I haven't posted anything about it for a while because the struggle was too much for me to share. A couple of times I thought about throwing the whole thing in the trash—that would have forced me to let go of it—but some friends in an artists'salon that I attend encouraged me to keep going. I'll be seeing them again tomorrow, and that, combined with the urge to create, has brought be back to the painting with more energy. I'm trying to finish it.

I'm including in this post images of how the image shifted as I worked—layers on top of layers, the "story" changing with each window of time that I was able to work on it. Things that seemed important often got covered up, other things got moved around, new images came in.

From the Salon I got two really good ideas that helped me move forward. When the piece was over all visually too loud, Steve Bogart suggested painting the whole thing with a thin layer of brown so that I could figure out what was really important to me. Somebody else, not sure who, asked if there were any part of the painting that I actually liked. There was a strip. It was suggested that I somehow divide it from the rest of the piece, maybe with a line or something. That made sense to me. So you'll see that at some point, I took a knife and cut a section off.

I think that's saying enough for now, but looking at all of these images, it's always a wonder to even me—how does one get from point 'a' to point 'v'? Art is a gamble, a terrifying process of fits and spurts. I never know quite where I'll end up.

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