Another milestone and another slideshow… seven years on WordPress! This last year has been a whirl of six-word poems, experimental word art, black canvas paintings, and music. Lots of music. Not a bad year at all. In fact quite a good one : )
In my last post, I mentioned my plan to make good use of the body of work I have accumulated as a result last year’s six-word story challenge. I painted my first six-word painting a little over a month ago. Here is the second: She unplugged and instantly felt better. True story : )
I’ve been experimenting with my six-word stories again. Several months ago I created a couple of small mixed media versions by transferring printed words onto painted canvases. This time I’ve painted the words so that they are an integral part of an abstract landscape. I’m so pleased with the result that I’m already planning the next one…
“Whenever I try to finish a painting by carefully cleaning up all the parts—removing smudges, perfecting the drawing, spiffing and polishing—as I work, the spirit slowly drains out of it. This approach to finishing leaves me unsatisfied and leads to my either abandoning the painting before it is complete or just stopping and calling it “finished” in spite of my dissatisfaction. I know that Nature is not polished and uniform, all clear, clean and tidy, but raw and variable, messy, ambiguous, and indefinite. And above all, nature is dynamic. It stands to reason that a painting of Nature must somehow include these qualities. What if focusing on details and formal accuracy won’t ever get me there?”
“What if I just focus on representing the underlying essence of my subject and my relationship to, and feeling about, that essence?….Perhaps the best way to finish a painting is to try to move the subject ever more towards that state. I know when that character is developing in my painting because the image inspires that particular feeling I have when I stand before it in Nature. I know to keep working as long as I can make something more like its essential self. I know I need to stop as the image begins to move away from itself and become something else. Mysteriously, sometimes this process goes on for many days and even weeks as I devote hour after hour to the piece, other times I breathe a painting into being in a few hours, almost effortlessly, and only need the good sense to leave it alone (which is surprisingly difficult sometimes). So perhaps, in this way, my practice of finishing can be guided by Nature herself.”
I’ve been on one of my painting journeys over the last few weeks, revisiting Sparkle and Shine, a landscape (pondscape?) from 2013.
WIP #1 I started with black canvases and used intense colours for the underpainting because I wanted the lily pads to really stand out against the blue-black water.
WIP #2 Then I painted green over the pink and yellow over the purple. Lighter blue ‘sparkle’ shapes were introduced to the water.
WIP #3 The final stage included adding touches of pink for the highlights.
I’m going to wait a week or so for them to dry properly, varnish them (because I think reflections should be glossy and I want the water to look deliciously dark and deep), and then these four new paintings will be available on Etsy.
‘The Colour of Snow’, my first ever painting on canvas, is now finally framed ~ it only took me five years to get around to it! Click on the photo to read the original post (and to see the painting without the reflecting glass).