Nothing lifts my mood more than working on a canvas larger than the usual 16 to 24-inch range. I can create with my work on a table top — working on small paintings or collage — and even sit in a chair as I’m doing it. And that is satisfying to a point. But with my work on the wall or an easel, walking around, moving in and back, standing even farther back to contemplate the work, and letting the studio music guide my brush (and my feet), is a more meditative process. I realized I have missed this, and am resolved to plan this into my studio time again.
This 30 x 40 inch painting is one that had been put aside for years. The truth is that it was already too dark. I was just playing around with it, using lots of color, and this first picture is the result of my first day of work on it. I kind of liked where it was going, enjoying the wild complementary colors, so I posted it to Facebook last week. Several people commented that I should stop. Well, you know where this is going, don’t you?
This next one is the “after” shot. The whole thing became a blue painting with just little shots of pinks, oranges, and yellow. I like it, but am putting it aside again. It hasn’t indicated to me that it’s finished quite yet. Note: but now, looking at it on screen again after a few days, it might be.
This painting is very much within the style of the large-scale paintings I was doing up until about 2010. And then I moved into more and more texture. But when I saw a whole show of my older works at the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts back in August, it made me want to go through the motions of that ingrained memory of that way of painting. It feels good.
My artist friend Jo Murray posted a link today to the following video featuring Eunice Parsons, an artist who has not slowed down in her 97th year. I loved everything about this interview, especially the fact that in her sunset years she has chosen collage as her principal medium of expression. I am inspired. It makes me happy to know that it is never too late to make art.
I’ve never been a Magenta person. It’s been years since I’ve actually used it. But yesterday, just on a whim, I ordered a 2-ounce bottle of Liquitex Deep Magenta acrylic. I needed a quart of gloss medium anyway, so I figured why not! Could this be a Magenta kind of year? The painting shown here has a touch of Magenta here and there. It’s from 2004 and was rented out to the set decorator for the film The Punisher, which was set in Tampa, Florida. I never saw my painting in the movie for sure, but I think I caught a glimpse of it above the stairway as the bad guy was dying.
What color is your year shaping up to be?
Have a creative day!
The days between winter celebrations are a welcome time for reflection as an artist. While everyone else is still distracted with the aftermath of decorations, and gifting, and family time, many artists I know need some time off to retreat into the silence for a little while.
And so, as I sit here in the quiet, thinking about the cobwebs in the studio, and the array of paints and brushes strewn around, waiting, I reflect on what I might want my art to say for the future — a future that, at my age, feels no different from the present moment. I don’t seriously expect an answer, but I keep repeating a few familiar questions. Is there a new message I want to convey, or do I just want to bring a little beauty to my small corner of the world? Do I want to protest against recent events that have assaulted our sense of right and wrong, or has that already been done much better by others? Or the one that sometimes paralyzes me — is there really anything new under the sun? If not, why even try? Maybe there’s nothing new to be said or conveyed, but there is the distinct possibility that it hasn’t yet been said in my own unique voice. There is also the distinct possibility that I’m over-thinking, which is its own paralysis.
I just need to be busy creating.
After having closed my Etsy shop this summer due to my husband’s illness, I’ve now decided to reopen it. It’s been both time consuming and therapeutic to bring it up to speed again, and I’m glad I made the decision to do it. For now, it’s just the one shop for collage, but I think I’ll be adding paintings later in that same shop. Two shops were a little too cumbersome to manage.
More time in the studio has been a mood lifter as well. I decided to lay out four big sheets of heavy paper and just start applying paint in a variety of ways, with the only goal being the use of lots of color. They don’t resemble anything one could call art, but that wasn’t the object. I just wanted to turn up the music and paint.
Then I spent a few hours working on some new collages. The newest ones are available in my Etsy shop now. I’ve featured them at the top of that page.
Here’s a look at some of the fun papers I’m discovering from the stash:
Have a creative day!