It seems as if time has no mercy on me, the days run into each other, and collide into yesterday; without my ever noticing the change, until I stop and think about all the things I need to be doing. It has been a bleak and rainy spring here, depressing at best. The ground hog was a dismal failure this year, and he has become the comical brunt of all jokes about the weather. It seems almost cathartic to have someone to blame, even if it is a rodent who could care less.
In the studio work progresses and digresses, and somewhere in between the middle and the end, the paintings seem to unearth and rise to the surface. I am amazed at how I began this art journey. The careful drawing and planning, that took me often weeks to develop into something I felt was worthy of paint, only to find when the paint was applied the drawing was lost forever. I was forever in a world of flux between the two worlds of drawing and painting. It was not until I realized my love of drawing and my love of painting, did not have to be one or the other, that I found my true calling in art. I love paint for the ability to transcend the surface and continually give me more ways to express myself in my art. I love drawing for its ability to give me confidence and control. I use them both, but I have learned when to turn one on, and the other off in my work. I am positive, it was all the failures at trying to paint my drawings, that taught me the most about paint, and painting for that matter. I can remember an older artist relating her wisdom to me when I first began painting, she told me you had to paint for years, to ever really understand how to paint. I had no idea she meant decades. She saw my frustrations with my work, and my inability to get my work past the literal, and to find the balance in what I wanted the painting to say.
Alas, that is where I find my thoughts today, thinking back and wondering where has all the time gone?
I have been continuing the series of paintings, Weight of Balance, as they still haunt me to paint them. I am at a point now where a figure seems lost ,unless it is working to achieve some form of balance both on the canvas and in its integrity. This is perhaps my way of balancing my life as it unfolds, and knocks me here and there; yet I keep bobbling like a upended cork in turbulent waters.
I have posted some starts to a few pieces on Facebook, and thought I might show the final stages of one. I am working in oil and cold wax on a few of them and I really love the subtle textures and tones I can achieve with the layers of wax and paint. The wax imparts a velvety translucence to the pigments and when applied in multiple layers gives a deep, evocative sheen of something both seen and unseen. There is a mystery in these layers that appear to be both stable and moving simultaneously to the eye.
This is in the early stages of the painting, I began with cool hues of bluish greens in the first layers, and then layer with the warmer, ochre, earth colors. The scraping and digging of marks is leaving trails and pieces of the under colors ( the bluish green tones) showing through in various places. I am adding more and more layers of opaque pigments with the wax medium and then scraping it down until only the residue remains of each layer, this gives the waxy translucent effect rather than a severe opaque layer, which I find gives it a delicate refined feeling and look.
This painting is about addictions and the helplessness of them, the seemingly endless bouts of recovery; only to have the monkeys(addictions) just out of sight, yet ready to leap at a moment’s weakness. I toyed with the literal aspect of using monkeys in this painting, as I usually try to not to be too literal; but ,I wanted something at the bottom of the painting to add weight to the design of the painting, and I settled on the monkeys in the end. I tried various ways to paint them and how to depict them for days. I looked up every kind of monkey known to man, and settled on drawing from a zoo picture of a monkey I had photographed,from years ago. The monkey reminded me of the kind the old organ grinder’s used to have in old movies, so I thought that gave the painting a timelessness I felt it needed. I wanted the depiction of the monkeys to be different than the figure, so I drew them with the paint rather than giving them any volume, I relied on line only. I liked the contrast of the figure and monkeys, as the figure seemed to be of more import than the monkeys, and this was yet another layer of meaning for this painting.
Here is the result of a couple of weeks of layering and scraping and layering and scraping. I feel it speaks the language of many and shows the emotion that swirls around addictions. I find life is a series of adjustments, it is a steady stream of getting up from falling down. Life is in itself a bit of an addiction.
Thank you for reading my blog, I am always grateful.