Last of 2011, on stretched canvas in layers as deep as the emotions have run all year. I thought it would be nice to show the progress of this painting, which will be the last one that will be started in 2011, and will probably be finished sometime in 2012. I am not sure if it is a good move or bad move to expose the underpinnings of my work, but my goal with blogging was not to self serve myself; but to share what I have learned through my process of painting. Therefore, I find it almost impossible to not give the stages as they unfold. I have begun to get in a habit of photographing work in stages for just this purpose. I one day want to teach workshops again, and get into that field but the timing is not right for my life right now.
The beginning of all of my work starts with a gesture, often there is not much visually to the eyes of others, but in my mind it tells the whole story. It is the trunk on which I will add the branches that will enhance and glorify the story. I find in the gesture stage I am finding the spacial relations that will work best for my work.
Not much here to brag about but somehow in my mind’s eye this is the structure I want in this piece. Notice the figure is the vertical and the horizontals break into the figure and connect it to the sides of the canvas. I am thinking this gives the figure a connectedness it would otherwise not have with the whole space. It is a lone figure like most have been this last year, I am thinking on the concept that we come here alone, we interact and learn and then we leave alone. I feel the time I am most connected to myself is when I am alone, maybe this is why I paint, I am alone 90 percent of the time.
I wrote down thoughts that had held me back this year, thoughts that had hurt me most and then I began layering the paint over the words and the gesture drawing. There is a bit of madness in this method, and I only do this when there are strong emotions running rampant in my life, and the end of the year is very apropos for this action. The layers will cover the words and bury them under layers, in the hope that they will never emerge again. I wonder if any of the collectors understand the blood, sweat and tears that go into the paintings that they collect. I often wish I could tell someone the story behind the piece they are buying but then again, that might not be the best idea. It brings to mind there is beauty in sadness as well as in happiness.
Today,I find the changes happening in the paint are parallel to my feelings about the painting. I have found this painting almost an extension of myself and through the layers the painting has lost parts and pieces of that connection, only to find them again in another stroke of paint. This is the time when your inner confidence has to kick in, otherwise you will give up when you lose something you love in the painting. You have to persevere and know that although, you may not find it again something better will emerge. I particularly find the faces in my work have to go through representational stages and then be distorted and lost to be found acceptable to me. It is now in this stage that paint takes on the life in the painting. The words of the last year are completely covered and the games begin. The paint will now dictate the emotion of this piece by the texture and quality that will transform the surface and give it a richness that will evoke thoughts deeper than the figure alone could ever conceive. This is the beauty of paint, it has the unique ability to transform the surface both in tactile ways and in visually. Oh, did I mention how much I love paint….
More to come later on this painting….but for now I hope everyone has a Happy and Blessed New Year and that what is to come will far exceed any expectations that you may have…
Take care and
As always thank you for reading and I hope you find a sliver of inspiration in my work and words.