I sure do love to draw! There’s something about the act of drawing that’s so immediate, intentional and strong. My urge to draw has been just huge for the past couple of years, and I’ve mostly satisfied it through sketching, or drawing with water soluble pastels or water soluble pencils which I then brush with water to make little painting-sketches. Lately, though, I’ve been finding ways to introduce drawing into my painting process (again).
Today I’m starting a new painting which I began by drawing in some basic shapes with pastel, then adding a bit of oil medium, then some thin paint; now I’m working some oil pastel and oil sticks into the mix. It seems to be going fast, though my plan is for many layers, hopefully creating a glorious texture, surface and image in the process.
No pictures of the work today; I will post some of today’s painting if and when it evolves into something I am proud of.
In the meantime, enjoy your holiday weekend; I am (doing my favorite thing—drawing and painting).
Creativity is about play and a kind of willingness to go with your intuition. It’s crucial to an artist. If you know where you are going and what you are going to do, why do it? — Frank Gehry
This is a very comforting quote for me. When I paint, I frequently have only a very vague idea or sometimes — no idea at all — of what I am searching for in the new work. I start somewhere, and often, the finished piece is so far away from where it started, it’s unrecognizable. One of my favorite things about working this way is that I discover things — such as shapes and images — that I just couldn’t invent.
I just discovered this great blog post about an artist/craftsman named Wendell Castle at Emily Evans Eerdmans’ blog. Wendell Castle has been creating amazing furniture for over 50 years. He has ten “Adopted Rules of Thumb” for staying at the top of one’s creative game that I find very compelling:
If you are in love with an idea, you are no judge of its beauty or value.
It is difficult to see the whole picture when you are inside the frame.
After learning the tricks of the trade, don’t think you know the trade.
We hear and apprehend what we already know.
The dog that stays on the porch will find no bones.
Never state a problem to yourself in the same terms it was brought to you.
If it’s offbeat or surprising, it’s probably useful.
If you don’t expect the unexpected, you will not find it.
Don’t get too serious.
If you hit the bullseye every time, the target is too near.
To find out more about Wendell Castle, and view more of his amazing creations, visit his website at wendellcastle.com
Class notes from Reinventing Your Creative Process with Andrew Long, Fall 2007
(this from the ACE Gallery – one of my favorite online presences of an already extraordinarily good bricks-and-mortar gallery).
Think of painting from another viewpoint; from up above, from inside. What’s outside? Think of things from all directions, paint it from one direction, then another and another, put them all together, leave the history of the object.
When things cross, perhaps they’re laying on a fulcrum?
It felt so good to see my little tornado paintings in the AVAA show, and I’ve always intended to keep painting them until…whenever. So, here’s my first tornado painting in a while; I had started it months ago, but it was too ‘happy,’ so today I took it in a dramatically different direction.
Unlike the abstract encaustic paintings, these semi-representational paintings really require a delicate balance. Because it had been a while since I painted like this in encaustic, my tendency was to let it achieve painting-hood as soon as possible, with as little reworking for the sake of ‘perfecting’ the image as possible. So, for me, the great joy in these first few paintings, when I’m a bit rusty and unsure of my process, is how they sort of straddle the line between abstraction and representation.
After all, they are paint first, and images of tornadoes second.