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Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Shift Backwards

From Sadami's comment yesterday, I guess folks aren't all that interested in paintings in progress. They want to see the thing finished and done with. Me too. But, I don't paint a painting a day. Mine can take weeks--and sometimes months if I get disgusted and have to put some time and space between me and it--which, with nothing new to show, makes blogging daily a bit of a problem.

Sketching is fun, but out somewhere out in the world where nothing stands still for long. Still lifes comprised of flowers and household items don't excite me enough to go through the effort--never did. And that's where photography comes in to freeze a moment for a future painting or for just an interesting photograph.

I took this photo yesterday. It's untouched. The rain drops were frozen in time, halted from their drop to the ground by an instant drop in temperature. Cool.

I played with it in Photoshop where cropping in close lost the poetic look of the raindrops, but showed me what could be a very nice textural painting with added dimension in a large format. I'm thinking layers upon layers built up, scraping through and scrubbing with steel wool. No doubt there'd be a little chemistry in the mix. Employing construction type materials excites me more than twenty minute dash offs like Mums in a Vase or diddling around with tiny brushes and color to build dimension as I'm currently doing with Fall Woods. I'm sensing my need for real dimension is gnawing at me and returning to the surface demanding to be accepted. At this stage of my life, I was hoping for less complicated forms of expression.

This is an assemblage I did in 1977 when I put my paints away and started to buy saws and clamps and miter boxes and setting off the smoke alarm on a regular basis. It illustrates my previous affinity for sculptural constructions. (The photograph is out-of-focus. The assemblage is framed in a Plexiglas box which caused distortion--and reflection--but you get the idea.


  1. i must be strange, because i like seeing a work in progress, shows growth as well as change either for the good or bad... paintings do take time, not built in a day as they say..

  2. I do too. I think it's the only way for an artist to learn when they should stop. It's so easy to go overboard.

  3. The best way to learn and improve is to watch other artists at work. Watching works progress over time gives insight not only into the individual artist's thought process, fears, concerns, and triumphs, but also insight into how to solve problems in general. PLEASE keep on sharing the process. I appreciate your honest and open approach to creating art.

    Nanina (Garden Groans)

  4. I love you Nanina! I hate to think I've been boring people to death. You made me feel so much better. thank you!

    Making art is such a struggle, full of self-doubt, disappointment,agony, all to reach the moment of yes, I did it. I've come as close as I can to the perfection I see in my mind's eye.

    That moment is what I strive for. That's probably why I gave painting up for so many years; the striving knocks you out. That's why I was hoping that constructive criticism could be found here on the net. But I've been disappointed. All of us are telling all of us our work looks good--great this, great that, love the color. Complements gets followers, ( another topic of interest). Who's kidding who? What ever happened to "You know what you should do? You know what I would do?" Second party input can be a very helpful thing.

    Constructive criticism during the work process can be helpful in pointing out the areas that (educated) viewers find troubling. The artist can go along and make corrections, or not. It's very possible that the criticism is not a criticism at all, but a confirmation that the artist is on the right track even though the critic doesn't care for it. We should not be afraid of criticism. If we're open, it helps us see more clearly. I'll put away my soap box now and go make dinner. You really lifted me up Nanina. thank you again.

  5. Your blog is a bit of a guilty pleasure which I enjoy each an every day - compliment much deserved.

    I'm not accomplished enough and feel out of my depth to be comfortable giving constructive criticism, but knowing other artists I admire struggle with the same problems and inner discouragement goes a long way toward keeping focus on improving my craft with the attainment of excellence always in mind. You bravely overturn mental rocks and rotten logs - obstacles on that path, examine, learn, move on, and go back again for another look. Great lessons!


  6. Dear Linda,
    A bit surprise! The adjective, "familiar" has a negative nuance that I've never thought of. If my comment brought you down, please forgive me and it's misunderstanding.

    Linda, I feel you often think too much to please others. A blog needs readers, but for me, the most important motivation&goal of blogging is to make myself happy. That's it!

    Regarding a process, I always want to know. It's a secret and a great chance to learn techniques. (*some artists do not like demonstration or disclosure.) So,PLEASE keep showing us your process and keep yourself happy.
    Kind regards, Sadami