30 Day Painting Challenge: Day 2

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30 Day Painting Challenge: Day 2

What is it about the artis­tic process? When­ev­er I have a good day, even a break­through day, where every­thing flows and the paint­ing almost paints itself, I should know by this time that the next day it will prob­a­bly all fall apart. It’s just the way the brain and the cre­ative process work.

Today was a fall-apart day. I worked for almost four hours on a paint­ing that seemed to get off to a great start, and then … noth­ing. I wiped paint off. Took min­er­al spir­its and a paper tow­el and wiped some more. Start­ed over again. Seemed to gain some momen­tum, and then … not so much.

This of course led to my los­ing con­fi­dence. Los­ing sight of my ini­tial vision. Los­ing faith I should even be mak­ing art in the first place. I’ve paint­ed long enough to know intel­lec­tu­al­ly that I need to step away when this begins to hap­pen. Some artists, I’m told, even put their paint­ing face to the wall, almost like a time out.

But I can be stub­born and obtuse. So I kept try­ing. But it was just not meant to be. I final­ly wiped and scraped one last time and hum­bled myself before the wrecked paint­ing. Sigh.

I did men­tion, though, that I can be stub­born and obtuse. The stub­born part served me well today, for instead of giv­ing up com­plete­ly, I calm­ly took out anoth­er can­vas and start­ed anew. I real­ized I’d got­ten caught in the tricky web of attach­ing myself to results instead of rel­ish­ing in let­ting the paint­ing tell me what it want­ed to be. I also real­ized this would be a good chance to get back to the basics.

So I decid­ed to focus on sim­ple shapes and val­ues using the col­ors that were left over from the palette of my failed paint­ing, and “August Dawn: Deer Isle” was born. I’ll see if it tells me any­thing else when I vis­it the stu­dio again after a night away, but all in all, I was pleased with the results. I real­ized that keep­ing it sim­ple is prob­a­bly a good phi­los­o­phy to stick with dur­ing this 30-day chal­lenge.

By the way, Deer Isle (which is in Maine) is one of my top five favorite places in the world. That’s anoth­er thing you prob­a­bly didn’t know about me. It’s off the beat­en path, but it is serene and gor­geous and like no oth­er place I’ve ever been. The dawns and dusks are spec­tac­u­lar. There are lots of trees (espe­cial­ly firs) and fields and the ocean and a bay pep­pered with lit­tle islands that look like muffins. There’s a real­ly great bridge to dri­ve across as well. My heart skips a beat in hap­py antic­i­pa­tion every time I go over it when I vis­it in the sum­mer or fall.

By |2015-01-02T23:22:02+00:00January 2nd, 2015|30 Paintings in 30 Days, Paintings, Waterscape|0 Comments

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