I feel terribly lackadaisical about the path of this painting. It feels stagnant and dead to me. This is another painting in progress in my Wall Flowers series, and I am feeling the need to explore the figure further. I am thinking of making a more graphic geometric shape based figure, while leaving parts of the figure as something that is recognizably my figurative work. I so love the silhouettes and dark figures;but this may be a new turn to take on my journey. I will just have to see how this progresses over the next few weeks,months or years. I am hopeful that I will discover something new in my work that will give me more insight.
Above is a crude photoshopped version of the plan I am making for this painting. I am feeling the gestural lines in this version give this painting a better movement. I like the way the rough lines, and the darks, take this painting from a very general painting of figures, to a much more dynamic figurative painting. The struggle will be to achieve my intentions in paint.
Below is the beginning of the new version. I had to completely obliterate the bodies in the original stage in the beginning of this post, to get to this point. I feel I am pretty much following the photoshopped plan of attack.
The gestural lines are much too strong for me at this point, but they will be layered over and worked into the background before this is over. I do recognize the need to minimize them at this point and that is half the battle knowing when something needs manipulation. I like the movement of the dark shapes against the background, I can feel torsos without having to actually see it defined for me.
Working on the background and the foreground shapes at the same time, I work the blue and coral lines back into the background and then I repaint them several times to get the effect I want to achieve. This is a mantra for me, I very rarely lay down a layer of paint that remains pristine in my work. I have a bent towards working physically with the paint. I have always had a penchant for a surface rich with textural layers of pigment. I want the blue and coral lines to pulsate but I don’t want them to be a focal point.
Progression of the piece is one of a struggle to achieve the balance of many factors. I want the more descriptive head shapes to be offset against a very graphic body shape, and I want these figural shapes to become part of the whole background in the painting, and vice versa. Why would I want to do this? I am constantly looking for something new and different that relates more intimately how I feel about the figures in my art. They are not just figures to me; but more a part of an abstract field of paint, that attempts to convey the resonance of life itself. The figure is the subject, yet it is still a strong foundation of the whole. It is in motion yet motionless at the same time as we are in life. I strive to make my work more of an extract than a precise thought, therefore, it does not need hard lines or descriptive details and text to give it a validation. This painting has the figurative shape with a face; not always the norm for my work, yet it still reads as a shape and not a definitive face. I could take the face out even further and obliterate it with more paint later; but for today, I think I will leave it and see how I feel about it tomorrow. Often for me the distance of time can help me to see my work more clearly and make integral decisions. I am not there yet but I can feel the finish is close now.
Thank you for reading my blog, I am always grateful.
Cathy Hegman AWS,NWS,MSWS,MOWS, SAA,SW, ISAP
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