I’m wondering what will happen if I just let the ideas appear, not judging or interfering in the perceptions. I think it would be delightful to be surprised by my own painting. Sometimes that happens. It is as though someone else painted the picture. If you know you’ve got a certain measure of skill, what if you just forget about all the “shoulds” that you ever heard, and instead use the skills you have (whatever they are) to respond to the motif, and let the chips fall where they may?
Then what happens? I am wondering what it’s like to do painting as a form of inquiry, as a way of asking lots of questions, following the thoughts with the colors of paint, and then be as surprised as the next person about the results.
Versatile medium that it is, acrylic paint can be used on virtually any surface to which it adheres. So all kinds of paper work wonderfully. This study of the fruit bowl is painted (13.5 x 12 inches) on a stiff sheet of smooth watercolor paper. I made the painting to study one detail of the still life table for a painting in progress.
It ended up being a form of “painting therapy,” a way of preventing me from messing up a painting that’s far along in the works via some frustration I was feeling. Better to take the frustration out on a separate drawing — get the painting distress out of the system harmlessly — all while learning more about the motif and making another small painting. Take that, bowl of fruit! You won’t vex me!
Be your own art psychotherapist — confront the art problems on scraps of paper that lie about. Work it out and learn new stuff. What’s not to like ….
I have been painting exclusively with acrylic paint lately and I have fallen in love with the medium as never before. The medium seems different to me now — more full of possibility than I ever realized. And the painting above, in particular, has made me crazy with joy. I cannot explain it. I don’t know that it would affect anyone else similarly, but for me it’s like a path leading in a wonderful new direction.
It’s a small painting, measuring just 20 x 16 inches.
Maybe it’s because it seems to move (somewhat) in the direction of my old hero Pierre Bonnard. But there’s more to it than that — reasons that are impossible to put into words. It reminds me of my childhood … somehow. But it also looks like “the future.” It’s as though I knew what “the future” is — and it has a hint of this — whatever this is.
It’s something to do with the yellow. I know that. It’s like sunlight in landscape. This is still life, but landscape is there too. Crazy talk. The exact color scheme is impossible to capture in photography (as is always true in art). I am not sure whether it’s even finished. The still life is still on the table so I can work on it some more. It doesn’t matter. It’s just my painting, the one that for mysterious reasons makes me so glad.
I have been painting bowls and they have hypnotized me. I love objects in bowls! The one above appears in a painting that’s still in the works. But there are various others. Here’s a quick sample, starting with a second one from the same work in progress:
And then there’s this one:
It’s from this painting:
The painting above Aqua di Rose measures 28 x 22 inches. And as you can see it also features a second bowl, an empty one. I got those objects recently, by the way, at my favorite thrift store. You just never know what wonderful things will show up asking to be painted.
I liked the first version a lot and thus was reluctant to have another whack at it right away. And there’s nothing wrong with that: I had plenty of other things to keep me busy.
But it’s undergone another swipe. I still like it. And I still think it needs some further something, though I’m not sure what that something is, so once again I’m briefly setting it aside while I contemplate my next move.
I’m working on the left side of a landscape that I posted previously in its first swipe. It’s kind of the “messy middle” of the process. I put down ideas. They’re kind of raw. It takes a while for things to gel. But it’s just direct painting. And I don’t expect anything to materialize right at once.