Aren’t those colors just yummy? I’d like to see what would happen if I tried to paint something like this very large.
New Sketch: “A Gathering of Small Redheads”
Here’s my latest little sketch, though perhaps it is more of the germ of an idea for some future work. This one is not typical of the work I am currently doing, but I love the goofiness!
I will be posting more new work as I get the images prepared for the web, so stay tuned.
I think I will have about 40-50 of these small works on paper for sale, as well as perhaps eight new oil paintings and about a dozen mini paintings this weekend and next at our location for the East Austin Studio Tour: The Vortex, 2307 Manor Road.
The Challenge of Becoming a Non-Representational Painter
Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. – Jonathan Swift
Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature. – Josef Albers
I am getting very excited about my upcoming solo show. I’m painting like mad, and I’m beginning to be very happy with some of the results. I think I may just have a future in this wonderful world of painting!
Continue reading “The Challenge of Becoming a Non-Representational Painter”
Color is the Thing for Me
I am getting very excited about my upcoming solo show. I’m painting like a madman, and I’m beginning to be very happy with some of the results.
When I made arrangements months ago to do this show, I had no fear about showing my work, as I had just come off of a long period of intense and successful creation, and was (and still am) very happy with the work I had created.
But I was ready to move on to the next thing creatively, though I wasn’t sure what it was.
So I began this year by doing lots of tiny sketches and many small paintings, searching for a satisfying direction. I attempted a few larger paintings, but they went awry. At a workshop, I created some new work in encaustic, though in the end I wasn’t happy with most of them. To date, I have completed about 70 pieces this year — which is a lot for me — though most of them are sketches and small paintings.
Then, finally, the realization that color is the “thing” for me, and as long as I’m true to that, I’m happy, and my work succeeds. The other issues – the other elements that go into an abstract painting (shape, form, surface quality, etc.) I continue to think about and work on as well.
How Do You Know When You’re Done with a Painting?
I was in a class several years ago in which another student complained about painting abstractly because she didn’t know where to stop. She said when she worked representationally, at least she knew when she was done — for her, it was when the painting looked like the thing she was representing. Of course, it’s not as simple as that for many representational painters, but often it seems when one is just starting to draw and paint, success is measured by how close one’s piece gets to looking like the object or scene one is depicting.
It’s so different when you give up representation. The answer to the question, “how do you know when you’re done?” becomes more elusive.
Is it when you achieved what you set out to achieve or perhaps when you discovered something you didn’t know you were looking for?
For me, it’s a bit of both — I like to keep my goals pretty loose so that I can explore an area of the process of painting that fascinates me (like color), and still discover something new in that process.
Sometimes — in a glorious moment — a piece just comes together. Everything seems to work — the colors sing, the composition works, the texture and brushstrokes are interesting and well-integrated. One more stroke and you could really lose it.
At other times, there’s something not quite right that keeps nagging until you figure out how to make it work. I had a wonderful moment yesterday when I reworked a small painting from earlier this year that never really sparkled, and suddenly, I got it right! Oh, the thrill!
Sometimes though, I lose interest in a piece before I feel I am done…and then it may languish in my studio until I regain interest and work on it some more, possibly finishing it…or it may just be added to the stack of unfinished pieces.
What about you? How do you know when your piece is finished?