Working mostly on wood panels and canvas, I only get out the paper when I know I will be painting for myself or possibly as an entry in a show. I don’t favor one medium over another anymore but I have found I tend to gravitate and enjoy painting on hard surfaces the most. Even in papers I tend to only paint on the hot pressed or smoother surfaces. I tend to enjoy less and less any absorbancy in a substrate. It is a personal choice as I see many works that are wonderful on the softer cold press paper, and other surfaces in which the paint sinks in and grabs hold. I tend to like to work the surface, really dig in and work it, so the less absorbent is better for me. I believe after years of working in art, that I have found the most important part of my work; is that it is a part of me. Through working the surface and creating and losing the figure, I am spending more time and becoming more familiar with the painting; and putting not only my thought, but my physical self in the work. As I paint background and the figure in each piece it disappears and reappears many times until I actually recognize it as the figure that I had in my mind. The paint will dictate many of the decisions in my work, and I will wrestle, fight, and often cry with it, but eventually the paint and the painter will become one and the painting will begin to solidify.
Rocko’s death has had a profound effect on my work. I realize it is very personal and not for a gallery,but something inside of me still yearns to be close to him. I get a feeling of satisfaction in painting him with myself, as if we are still together. Weight of Balance Rocko’s Journey, is my attempt to be able to come to terms with the having to help him leave. I prayed for months as his health declined that the Lord would take him in his sleep and save me the agony of having to have him put to sleep. My prayers were not answered, and after I had it done, I suffered miserably with the fact that I did it, I was wrought with guilt. This painting is my way of working through this time. It still makes me cry to think about him not being here with me, but it helps me to think of him as vibrant and young dog again and on a fantastic journey. I will always miss and love him and I hope that my letting him go is somewhat like this painting. I am finding balance in giving him his journey.
My best advice for any artist, is to find the things that are important in your life, and give them credence in your work. Your work will be stronger for it, and you will be able to better understand yourself more by seeing pieces of your life in your paintings.
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*All artwork and text included in this blog is copyright protected by Cathy Hegman and should not be reproduced in any form or fashion or used without the written permission of Cathy Hegman. All text and artwork included in this blog are solely the thoughts and original art of the artist, Cathy Hegman, unless otherwise noted, and are meant only to be guidelines and thoughts for others to read.