Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Little of This, A Little of That

I started the day with good intentions. It was going to be a painting day and then this evening go with a friend to Austin's West End for First Thursday Gallery Night. But.....
As with any good intention, you have to decide how important it is when faced with the decision of following through by any means possible or going with the flow. I chose to go with the flow and it's only now that I'm home from seeing other people's art that I realize it was for the best that I did not paint today.
Because...what has bothered me about this piece is that it really isn't very Connie-like. I have enjoyed painting my medium to large canvases with a palette knife in great swooshes of color, picking up the layers underneath and developing texture and depth. But this smallish (for me) canvas is not all that much fun to work on with a palette knife. In fact, if I could go back in time, I would have used a brush. But, since that's not an option at this point, I took it as a signal tonight when I saw lots of different work from artists I know and others I'm just getting to know, that I should at least be REAL with what I'm doing. What I mean is, just because I'm using a palette knife on this painting doesn't mean that it is my "voice" in this piece. It's almost just a gimmick. What I need the palette knife to do is what I do with the large canvases, mix those paints around. Give it motion.
Because this is a piece from a friend's photo and I'm giving it to her, I think I attempted to play it safe. I am so disappointed in myself for that. I know I am learning a hard lesson here and dearly hope that I can right enough wrongs for me to value this painting in the end.
I can't wait to get to the grapes tomorrow and give them some volume with the use of light. Hopefully no one will need me tomorrow.
I did want to share my excitement about my next intentions. I just got the book, "Henry Yan's Figure Drawing, techniques and tips" and can't wait to learn his methods for producing such luscious, full of energy drawings. In reading a number of art blogs, it seems that there is a growing trend toward drawing, sketching, getting the image down in your head before starting a painting. I did my first "best" painting using that method when I took a course from Noel Robbins at AMOA. And, just a year ago, I started going to his studio just so we could work on drawing. I don't know why I didn't stick with the drawing part. I did it for one painting and then I guess I forgot? Maybe I was just so excited about painting?
So, anyway, now I'm fixing to get back to drawing and sketching. I think that will help me work up my nerve to go to paint outs with the Plein Air Austin group, too. My issue is a strange one: I joined PAA last year, with every intention of taking my brand new easel and backpack out to paint outs. In March I had the worst episode of herniated lumbar disc I've had in years, right after using my backpack at a painting session with Austin Figurative Gallery and was laid up with muscle relaxants and pain meds for 5 days. So now I can't help but associate back pain with my wonderful backpack.
One of the sweet PAA people suggested that I just bring a sketchbook to our paint outs and I think she deserves an award for creative problem solving. Why I did not think of that is beyond me. Guess I was too focused on what I couldn't do to figure out what I could!
Two photos of two things I'm working on. After the Blogging 101 workshop I'm taking 3 weeks from now, I should be able to put captions under photos, create paragraphs and post blogs that I follow. I'm not a total idiot, but I do tend to give up if it looks like I'm going to be at it for hours problem solving.

1 comment:

Camille LaRue Olsen said...

You got some great insights today on what feels right to you and what doesn't. So *something* good came out of this difficult day you had. I'm happy for that.