Even as work proceeds on “the Big Painting,” I still have other projects that need attention. One is this partly completed 30 x 40 inch painting of a moth. I am at a crossroads of sorts with it and must decide which direction it will go. And I must decide fairly quickly as I have plans for it — plans that have a deadline attached.
But the lovely thing is that every activity helps with all the others. Making drawings after sculpture at the National Gallery sharpens my drawing skills for my other work. And the Big Painting and this picture of the moth have more relationships to each other than might ever be apparent to an outside observer. So it all works together.
I like empty bowls — and the air that floats inside their curved interior surfaces and those photons of light that bounce against the wall of the bowl and fall out into the universe. I like doing posts in themes. A recent instagram post is dedicated to the motif of an empty bowl. Two of the bowls used in the still lifes are made of papier-mâché. The third is a little Chinese teacup. I have three mediums represented, watercolor, oil and acrylic paint.
Beginning a study of the black teapot with flowers … it gives me more material for the big still life painting that’s in the works. This is the first pass. Making the studies of the various items is essentially “painting a day.” But these are not ends in themselves. The studies are rehearsals. And they are fun too. They can have a lot of freedom. It is painting for painting’s sake.
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.
When photographs of pictures happen by chance to appear side by side, sometimes you discover relationships between images that you didn’t know were there. And so it seems that the Little Collage has some sort of parallel relationship to the Lattice painting that I made many years ago.
Maybe I’m crazy. But I feel as though they share some inner logic, as though they are versions of the same thing.
Yesterday evening I worked more on the oil study for my painting in the works. Earlier versions of this oil study and of a watercolor of the same motif appear in earlier posts. The painting is 9 x 12 on Arches oil paper.
The idea for the particular colors in the cloth came from the watercolor version I did earlier. I liked the colors there and decided to use them here as well.
Now I need to transfer these ideas to the mysterious big painting in the works.
When the sky touches the land at some distant point ahead that you see afar off, then you know you have space enough to dream.
There’s so many ways to move through a landscape: through the air or on the ground, taking the path that goes under the tall deep green trees, or along that horizontal plain that escapes like an arrow to some unknown locale just beyond the range of vision. What lies over the hills of a dream? Where does the light lead? How green is the greenest green of life?
And what about the ball of light inside the clouds?
Writing about my art presents me with a daily challenge: how to keep being interesting? How do I translate my experiences, my humble quotidien, personal, repetitive experiences into something that various unknown others can feel. So often my first impulse is merely to say, “I did thus and so.” I, me, myself did this marvelous happy artist thing today. And the pronouns glare at (me) as (I) sit here tapping away on (my) keyboard.
Make it about something else, about someone else! (I say.)
Making it about you is more challenging. Oh, it makes my brain hurt! (After a long day.)
And, that’s part of what the painting is for — for you. My pronouns transformed into colors and forms are my quotidien razzmatazz intentions carved out into colored air, something we can both see, and something I can say — oh, so earnestly — without my brain having to work too hard.
The above is a painting based on the drawings of a previous post. I’m still working on it.