Thursday, May 30, 2013

The BTW Method of Painting

Spring Thaw, Acrylic on Gallery Stretched Canvas, 20" x 20"

PAINTING IN PROGRESS


Spring Thaw, #1 in the new Woodland Series, is tough.  Every time I passed the studio door on the way to the pantry or storage area, it kept pulling me into the studio to make an adjustment. Yesterday, it got more than a stroke here or there. It got put on the floor, sprayed with water and then painted wet into wet to soften some of  hard edges. I call my pass-by painting sessions the BTW ( By The Way) Painting Method. I glance in at the works in progress as I'm passing the door. I duck in to correct the oops I spotted. And in fifteen minutes or so continue on my way with whatever I was doing in the first place . The method is very spontaneous, intuitive and not at all stressful. . It is slow going, but so am I.

When the sun is out, planting is on my mind, cycling is on my mind, painting not so much. Not caring to be  a shut in in the studio during the summer months is the way to go in this clime. Summer is the time for Plein air painting and gathering reference photographs on photographic excursions.  Knowing I want to do more Woodland pieces, I had my brawny landscape guys clear me a path into the woods so I wouldn't be kept back from hunting down new photographic material. They did a wonderful job with their axes and machetes hacking down  last winter's debris. I can now come and go with only a couple of logs to get over. I did hate missing my walk out to the daffodils earlier, I won't miss it next time  the lush green field beyond log two turns brilliant yellow with blooms. Beyond that is a much bigger lake due to our Spring thaw and abundant showers since.  I think I need some hiking boots to go with my whittled walking stick to get there--also what does poison ivy and sumac look like? --What does Michigan's one poisonous snake look like? I need a book--something like What Every Hiker Should Know...I was a Girl Scout, but my badges weren't for trekking in the woods--more for trekking in the kitchen.

A clear path to next year's wild daffodils beyond log two

And a clear way in. (That's not my place you see. It's my neighbor 's, the one with wind chime complaints).


 I came across this video. It made me laugh out loud. I adore Father Guido Sarducci and his wise-cracking wisdoms. I hope you do too.If not, you need to lighten up; you're taking art way too seriously and that attitude produces stiff work devoid of spirt. The stiffness of Spring Thaw is exactly what pulled me into thethose studio doors.  After yesterday's wet into wet treatment, it's softer now.


8 comments:

  1. What a glorious place you have on your doorstep...reminds me where my Grandma used to live, and she didn't have any neighbours....complaining or otherwise. I have always wanted that situation for myself. Happy BTW painting!

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    1. It is funny how when you are not concentrating on a piece of work--when you're just going about household business--the troublesome areas are easier to spot than when you're sitting and staring and wondering what's wrong with this? I was actually in the studio for about an hour before I threw the painting down on the floor, sprayed it with water and went into it intuitively. It was hard on my back, but being able to walk around the composition with a bird's eye view is very helpful.

      I couldn't believe how great a job my guys did to that deer path after I just asked them to toss aside all the dead wood that had fallen from the trees over winter to block me from getting out to those daffs. It's like a whole new world out there that I wouldn't mind exploring if I wasn't such a coward about what's that plant and what's that plant and what's that moving under the brush out there? I do think I need a book.

      I'm going to start something new today--or go into some of the multiplying unfinished pieces lining the walls. The sun is out, but the temp is in the nineties, so who wants to paint outside in that. This season has been whacky.

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  2. I have said it before, painting or not, you keep yourself busy. I have vacation coming up soon, and there will be painting, but there will be time for other things too. Painting should be fun, so I think we both paint when we feel like it and not because we should. ;) Well, almost all the time.

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    1. You are much more dedicated than I am dear Roger. While I know I'm an artist, I am actually a dabbler. I'm not willing to spend all my time in the studio. I like variety. I like balance. I am curious about a lot of things. It was a good thing, I designed for a living. --Speaking of making money, did you take a look at the pages I've added? In a small way, I think I'm moving towards marketing. Ellis is still hung up with building projects and I might have to let him go as my agent? I have an Etsy Store, but I forgot what I named it--plus I got the impression that they charge for displaying works? Meanwhile, I keep painting daily as I have always done--and more often--as soon as I'm satisfied with our outdoor living spaces. There are so few months of nice weather, I don't want to miss a minute. The heat feels good.

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  3. Your art is very strong...I adore the time and the Linda- thoughts when your painting grows...It is a ritual that accompanies your beautiful artworks, blogging together.
    Ciao,Rita.

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    1. Thanks Rita. Again, have fun with your grandchildren. Painting can wait. They can't.

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  4. Love your BTW way of working - and I think Father Guido Sarducci would approve! And your new path through the woods looks very inviting - I am sure walking in that pristine woodland will provide much inspiration! I finally planted my three new roses bushes and the high winds promptly blew off most of the leaves! I will tenderly try to nurse them back to health - sigh.

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    1. I find it interesting that casually observing one's work in progress really does beat sitting back and staring at it intensely during painting sessions. With your mind on something else, your eye seems to see flaws or accomplishments better than when dwelling on the matter. I know BTW sounds flippant, but the casual approach is revealing.

      Sorry about the rains and your roses. I bought roses too last weekend, but for they will be in pots on the deck over the summer and planted in the garden next Fall. Its the only flower I have found that loves sun and yet has a more elegant personality than geraniums for those pots strategically placed. Hibiscus just couldnt take the heat. --But given all the rain, aphids are going to be a problem--and perhaps black spot?

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