All artists get into a slump once in a while and then it becomes difficult to get back into familiar habits of working. Especially when life gets in the way, right? So right now I’m making a conscious effort to get the flow going again. As a result of showing up for work every day, I’m beginning to notice that I look forward to being in the studio more and more, and even hoping for a time when I dream paintings again. I’ve dreamed entire paintings in the past, and then when I wake up, I hurry to try my best to reproduce what I saw in my dream. It hasn’t happened for a very long time. It began happening when I was painting all the time — meaning, going into the studio and staying for most of the day. It was not unusual for me to skip eating, because food just didn’t enter my mind. It’s kind of trippy to have paintings, both real and imagined, constantly running through your brain. Will I get there again? One can only hope. With all the unsettling things going on in the world, added to trying to allow my grief process space to run its natural course, that would truly be a blessing.
Have you ever dreamed a painting?
As much as I enjoy being a colorist at times, especially with large canvases, I still love creating small textural works for texture’s sake. Here are three new ones that I’ve sent to Michael Murphy Gallery in Tampa.
And not sure whether or not I’ve shown this before, but back when I was teaching a group of students in my studio, I created a texture board for them. It was fun to do, and really only gave a few examples of textures that are possible with acrylics and textural media. Fun stuff. Shown beneath the board image are the individual textures with readable labels.
Here is the final painting that was shown in a recent post as a work in progress. I did exactly what I had planned, to do, which was to intensify some of the color saturation and deepen the contrast. Plus, the first picture was taken on my phone vs. this one taken outside with my Canon digital SLR.
Looking through a lot of my past paintings, I’m enjoying reviewing the Waterfront Series which had a lot more texture. Here are a few of them.
This week I plan to get more canvases started.
While I was in the studio looking for color inspirations to photograph for my last blog post, I found myself
looking through being mesmerized by my stash of collage papers.
Since painting has been my main focus for the past two months, I haven’t done any new collages. I think that is going to change very soon, because there is just something so rewarding and pleasurable about collage. And, come to think of it, I have prepared a whole stack of papers especially for dry adhesion using a tacking iron, as taught by Jonathan Talbot in his workshops and in his book Collage – A New Appoach. It’s been a long time since I attended one of his workshops, and at the time I told myself I wanted to do that technique. I only recently got around to prepping some papers.
But before I hauled out the paints and brushes a few weeks ago, I did a few new collages. Here are some of them. Time to get back to them. (These collages were done the old-fashioned way — with wet glue.)
You can look for these and more in my Etsy shop.
You may already have your own signature color palette worked out, but sometimes it’s fun to go back to basics and think about new ways of using colors in your work. For several years, I used nothing but straight-out-of-the-tube colors, no mixing on the palette, and if any mixing was done, I made it a visual mix right on the canvas. A few years later, texture entered into my work, and that became as important to me as my choice of colors. At some point I found myself painting in earth colors only. At about the same time that I was getting more into texture, I wanted my color combinations to be unexpected or unusal, and definitely non-standard.
But recently I came across a video by Bob Burridge, who is so much fun to watch, and in it he demonstrates his Goof Proof Color Wheel, which automatically selects for you a specific foolproof color formula that works for any painting. His colors are always joyous, clean, and bright. Before I continue, just feel free to go ahead and watch his explanation. I think you’ll enjoy it. Then after his video, I want to say a few words about how I sometimes like to pick my colors.
My own color choices are more instinctive and sometimes seemingly random. What excites me most is seeing colors next to each other that you might not expect to see in nature. Therefore, I’m always looking around the studio for clues to new and fun possibilities. I don’t like to throw away my blotters, squeegees, freezer paper table covers, and disposable paint palettes (usually a plastic picnic plate) until I’ve checked them over for color combinations that I might incorporate into the next painting.
Like the colors on these old mat board squeegees:
These paintings were influenced by similar color combinations:
. . . and then these crops of a freezer paper table cover:
Giving rise to more paintings:
And finaly, there are these paint palettes, which I absolutely love. These weren’t my palettes — just ones that a neighbor kid was using, and I kept them.
I see paintings in my future.