Monday, July 25, 2016

Not Good Enough

I've been stumbling into the studio irregularly for a while now. As I said in the last blog entry getting started has it's ups and downs. I still like the painting I posted in the that blog entry. That was my starting point in the new studio. But, it fits with this series on my website rather than with the latest group of paintings I've been working on. I don't feel that vein (the latest work) has been tapped out yet. 

I made a better start with the work in progress below, then I veered off into another direction altogether. I posted some of those pieces on facebook. They are emotive, emotional and a way of getting out the toxins. I will probably come back to them. There always seems to be a side project. Sometimes it becomes a new direction.

The painting below is closer to where I'm going right now but it's not good enough yet. I'm going to work on it and post about that here. It might resolve in one session or take weeks. Even then I could put it aside and take it out later and feel that awful feeling of "what was I thinking, unfinished at best". It might never get where I want. But we'll see.

What do I want from it? More depth, more meaning, more solidity, more work, more risk. More.

Stage 2

Ok, take a chance, red, oops, too many colours? Make it dirtier, some white, some orange yellow, stop, wait, leave it alone, come back tomorrow, see what it says then.

Let it be ugly, bad, strange.

Stage 3

It's tomorrow, it says, more, go deeper.

It's taken me all day to start, procrastination, a part of the process. First, I'm thinking "is this getting optimistic?" "Not right at this moment. More black (or is that the easy way out), More figurative elements? Try that new paint stick Posca thing ..ooh white drawing".

Then, "Ack feels flat, dead, maybe turn off the music tomorrow".

All those voices in your head, you need them.

And later, I go into it some more though I told myself to leave it, not listening to my own advice.

The red!!  hmm, don't know about this at all.

Note: The photo light is a little uneven, it's not lighter at the top than the bottom

Leaving it now, tomorrow, there's always tomorrow.

Stage 4 (well, not really)

I've been looking at it all day, between things distracting me. Haven't started working on it yet. Took a better photo so that I can see it from a distance more clearly. Photographs do that for me, give me perspective. I am choosing not to rush in, at least for today, maybe I'll rush in tomorrow, or in a few minutes.

The photo is better, but still, gives it a darker feel than I experience in it. Hmm, is the photo trying to tell me something?

Stage 5

Still holding back, I went into it with oil markers. Thinking, slow down, take it easy, let it happen.

Here are a few of the details incorporated today.

Friday night and I'm in here, staring at a painting. I'm a hermit.

Stage 6

Oh no! ruined. Well, wiped out in frustration. Tooo bitty, too not enough, don't like the colour, too heavy, tooo messy, not right.

So, here's what happened; I was feeling maybe it was almost there, but deep down I knew it wasn't and I couldn't get past that. I kept at it till I couldn't stand it

I kept at it till I couldn't stand it.

I kept on trying, then jumped on it with a wet rag, trying to obliterate it so I didn't have to see it any more.

As it stands now, obliterated mess

Ack, I'll let you know if I think I can salvage it, maybe not. Need to do some thinking about what I'm up to. Need a plan. I am always getting ideas, but want to see this through if I can with the Secret Messages paintings.

I've been going through old art work as I unpack things and so much of it is dispiritingly bad. The good thing is that I knew it was bad at the time and so just kept on working until it got better. I do feel I've made some good work, it's just that digging through the bad stuff is not so good for my confidence. Lots of throwing out is happening.

Stage 7

Here's where I got to today. I think I'm at a point where I need to leave it for a while. I went into it thinking "nothing to lose here". Wanting to keep with the initial impulse and with the colours I started with, I continued on top of yesterday's mess.

I mixed some black, red, yellow orange and blue to get me started and scooped up titanium white the with with a palette knife. 

Thoughts as I progressed
"bring in more white so you can paint on top without the dull colour coming through"
"ooh too pastel and too pretty, too insipid, red, needs red"
"bring up the red, bring in some red linear elements" 
"better, mix some blue, put in more blue to bring it all together, not so many little bits"
"now black, bring back those figurative elements, more larger black areas, more linear elements"

So, no idea what I really think, just letting it go for now and starting something else. Unless I change my mind tomorrow.