piling on the obsession

crepe myrtle drawing rehearsal no 2 (2)

Drawing and redrawing the motif to get myself revved up to continue painting — on this:

https://alethakuschan.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/crepe-myrtles-are-the-best/

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keen scribbles

corner crepe myrtle drawing

I feel an unabashed love for the material appearance of oil pastels (Caran d’Ache Neopastels to be precise).  I love to describe somewhat “loopy” forms with them.  I love mixing colors by abrasion.  I love the way that you can drag one color across another and create as it were almost veils of color.

So even when the situation is stalled (as I make drawings for a painting that I’m unsure how to complete), I can nonetheless love the act of drawing because the materials themselves are so beautiful.

I have rehearsed these forms many times and they still hold my interest.  Indeed, it’s stronger than that. They hold me captive.

rainy day

crepe myrtle drawing rehearsal no 1

I continue to resist going forward with my crepe myrtles painting so I make more drawings.  The drawing stops on the right because I ran out of motif — would have to invent more landscape to fill that space — which might be an interesting exercise.

So it rains outdoors and rains a little in my head where I lack some of the pizzazz that propels a painting forward.  But it’s better to draw, if you’re stuck, than to do nothing. The drawing paper measures 18 x 24 inches.

Here’s the painting I’m endeavoring to unstick:

https://alethakuschan.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/crepe-myrtles-are-the-best/

blasé, you say?

drawing for reentering crepe myrtlesIt can be hard reentering a painting that you like.  It’s not complete, but you’re not sure how to take it forward, and you don’t want to screw up the things that you already like.  My recent crepe myrtles painting is giving me this sort of trouble.

You can add to my problem one that Mother Nature brings since it seems that she has her own blasé moods.  And as the saying goes, “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”  Our Big Momma has decided not to freeze us to death (for which I am duly grateful), but she’s not bringing the sunshine out either.  On gray days, it’s easy to feel blasé too — caught up in Mother Nature’s morose mood.

So how do you transport yourself into a world of crepe myrtles when so much conspires against you?  The fear of failure, the somber light, a paucity of ideas — all make the once intrepid artist feel stumped.

I don’t know about you, but I draw.  The drawing may be okay, prosaic, what evah — but today I am all those things too.

Nonetheless moving the lines around the forms helps me find a path back into the painting and it’s better to draw than to sit idly waiting for Mother Nature to get her act together.

long crepe myrtles reworked

long crepe myrtles reworked

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.

The earlier version is visible here:

https://alethakuschan.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/crepe-myrtles-in-acrylic/

The painting measures 36 x 18 inches.

looking back

crepe-myrtles-brilliant-day

I painted this summer scene of crepe myrtles a while back.  It will become part of a landscape portfolio that I’ll be assembling soon.  It’s an oil painting measuring 30 x 24 inches.  In contrast the ones I’ve been posting lately are acrylic paintings.

It’s fun to see how it looks with its new landscape companions.

crepe myrtles are the best

crepe myrtles jan18

Ta dah!  Well, here’s an early swipe at a crepe myrtles painting measuring 40 x 30 inches.  I love everything about crepe myrtles — love the flowers, love painting them, love the season when they bloom while cicadas are singing.  And I am loving using acrylic paint in transparent veils of color — somewhat watercolorish looking in character, though very different from watercolor in the painting of it.