I haven’t posted in a while, but I have been painting. I have about 12 new paintings to share; here is the first of my new series of abstracts that I have been working on since July.
I began this one inspired by passion flowers (we have a huge vine of small passion flowers in our yard). I started this in acrylic, as my previous painting, “Food Forest,” was done in acrylic and I was so happy (eventually) with both the process and the end result.
With this one, however, I found working in acrylic as frustrating as is usually the case for me. So I repainted the whole thing in oil and then ended up painting out much of what had been part of the original composition. I finally abandoned the idea of a passionflower, and let the painting tell me what it wanted to be. And this is the result.
Kind of goofy, kind of beautiful, and I find myself loving the parts but wondering about the whole. This painting got juicier and juicier as I simplified, simplified, simplified.
Here is the first painting I have completed this year. It started as something even more abstract back in November, but I couldn’t quite resolve it into a painting that worked back then, so I repainted it, and now it has become an abstract floral work. I really love how it came out.
Here is how it looked after a few days of work back in November and what it is now:
As you can see, there are a few parts that remained more or less intact and a lot of additions and modulations. That groovy shape in the top center just didn’t work here, but three calla lily-type flowers have taken its place rather nicely.
I didn’t want to lose that wonderful diamond-shaped bit of fuchsia towards the upper right, and I think it came out really well being made into a “flower.” She’s kind of queenly, I think, and seems to be engaged in a dialogue with the fuchsia flower in the center, or maybe they form a trio of fuchsia flowers with the one below both of them.
The other part I was quite attached to was the little blue “mouth “engaged in a scream in the green flower on the upper left (when the painting was turned 90 degrees):
Some brushstrokes just can’t be duplicated (well not mine; not yet, at any rate), so this little guy remains even if it’s no longer so clear that it was a mouth screaming.
“Ovation in Pinks” is available from my new shop site, here: “Ovation in Pinks.”
After copying a Picasso last week, I started seeing so many things differently! Palette, shapes, composition…my copy of his painting in among my own paintings made my work pale in comparison. 🙁
OK, well, no surprise there.
I tried to return to what I had been doing before the Picasso copy and started using colors from his palette to attack this work that was already in progress. Picasso kept interfering as I struggled with thoughts of the strength of his work.
A few days and many changes later, I finally got back into the rhythm of my own vision and ended up here. FWIW.
This is kind of a goofy little painting that I was really just noodling around on. It went through several changes over about a week of occasional noodling, and this is where it ended up. I gave it that title because it reminds me of the little donkeys I saw in Morocco being led across the desert or in the medinas, stacked practically to the sky with all sorts of household goods, water, cans, people, rugs, etc. Mighty little fellows!
The greatest work of an artist is the history of a painting.
The title of this painting could embody a state of grace that many people seek throughout their lives. It could symbolize the wishes that most artists aspire to obtain through their creations. Or it could represent my recent series of abstract paintings. In this case, it represents another painting in the series through which I am beginning to achieve a long sought after enchantment with my process and pleasure in the final result.
Every painting, and perhaps especially abstract paintings, start out as a journey with the destination unknown. The thrill of exploration is a great part of the goal. What can I make my colors and brushstrokes do? How do I push the paint around in interesting ways? How can I make an intriguing composition out of nothing but colored oil paint and a few shapes?
These first few works in the series are small and slow, and I’m still finding my footing, but I’m really looking forward to more and larger and more confident works. I’m thrilled to have reached this part of my journey, and excited about the rest of the trip. I hope it is a long one!