Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Starting to pick up steam

These self-doubts that I've had about this work that I'm making right now are the flip side to this slow and steady ball of energy that's been building up inside of me: it's just about ready to rip! I wrote a list the other night of things I can remove from my work, as a guideline almost:
I don't want to make:
-pure abstracts
-painterly abstracts
-hard-edged works
-narrative/folk tales
-big heads
-drippy portraits
-single figures in photographic space
-still lives

I do want:
-painterly marks
-soft edges
-something new (that I haven't seen before)
-visual tension
-beautiful colour interaction
-no critiquing
-autobiographical (can't escape it)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Good ol' self-doubt

I've been chatting with my good old friend Self-doubt a lot lately. Ol' Self-douty can't seem to find any redeeming factors in the painting studies I've been doing of my collages. It's quite unnerving.
Luckily I stumbled on a podcast called the savvy painter ( and listening to the interviews of other artists has been very helpful for me. The long and short of it is: don't overthink it, just paint, make things, keep at it and eventually it will become clear. It's sort of like the saying that it's harder to hit a moving target. So if I keep making stuff, I'll avoid getting sniped by ol' Selfie.
This, I think, is the unfortunate draw back of going to art school. A person becomes more cerebral when making art because you learn that you need to have an explanation for the marks you are making. When really, you need to let go of it and let things happen intuitively.
So . . . just keep at it.
Venusian Blinds, 30" by 24", oil on canvas, 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Collages on going

I made some revisions to the collages that I want to use as starting points for paintings that act like visual poems. I felt that the collages needed a bit more "oomph" so I added some painterly elements and that helped me to open up to the images. Now I feel like there is something interesting happening in the collages that I can hopefully translate into paintings. I'm going to make some small scale pre-paintings (painted studies, I guess) before I make any larger works . . . if it indeed gets that far. I do have school coming up in 10 weeks.
Oh yeah, and I've decided to go to school full-time in the fall and finish up my Bachelor's degree. I then plan on pursuing my art career instead of doing design work. I know that design is a good, marketable skill, but I really want to give this whole artist-thing a go. It's been my parallel life since I can remember so I'm excited at the chance to start now (at the ripe age of 42) and give it my full attention.
Here's a shot of the reworked collages.

And here's a painted study I finished the other night that I think is pretty decent.
Jovian Mermaid, 42" by 30", oil on canvas, 2017

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Another work in progress

Here's my first attempt at making a painting that is more like a visual poem. I'm trying to make something new; I'm bored of painting faces. I've been experimenting with collage and want to start from a source that is already fragmented/intervened upon and see what the results are. First I wanted to make a painting of a sketch I did a few years ago. This type of thing is more akin to stream of consciousness writing, so . . . I need to do a lot of it and not worry if it's bad or good.
Source material. A combination of a figure, Stuart Davis forms, and a duck mole.

I stopped here because I think I've overpainted it already. What I'm planning to do is start a new one using what I've learned from making this one. I think I like the 3rd stage best. Exciting possibilities though :)