Monday, May 04, 2015

Ugly ducklings turn into swans

Network of Communication - SOLD
15" x 30"  mixed media

Time has a way of providing fresh eyes and insight into what has gone before.

For paintings, you do what you think is good work at the time, but it could be weeks or years later when your revisit a piece, you know you can do better.  There may be lessons learned, techniques honed and more experienced hands and eyes to influence and enhance the past.

As artists we have the ability to use that experience and time to look again at a painting and see how it can be improved.  It is what I have done with this piece.

On my learning curve back to colour and painting, I was a bit timid with colour, but now I use it to my advantage. I took a rather subdued jellyfish and turned it into the star of the ocean.

This is the original piece.  I'm almost embarassed to show it now, as it looks so insipid in comparison to its makeover version.  But, at the time, it worked for me and it does have many good points.

The original was done in mixed media on a  15" x 30" panel and was custom framed.  But it lacked pazazz.  I grabbed a palette knife and oil paints and pushed colour and contrast and layers to give it impact.  I have some fluorescent oil paints that are amazing.  Not for the fluorescence,which I have not seen under a black light, but for their intensity of colour.  I wish a camera and computer screen could show the vividness of the yellow, orange and red touches in this painting of this paint.  No, it won't glow in the dark under regular lighting, but it will have impact in a room.

Don't hesitate to revisit an old painting and analyse it truthfully.  I believe we see through somewhat blinkered vision at our own work and need time and/or other eyes to see it, warts and all.  Armed with that knowledge we need to have the courage to just do it and see what the end result is.  Good or bad.  In this case, I think its good.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

The benefits of pressure

I've been a bit in limbo for the last couple of weeks, trying to find something to inspire me and make me wake, anxious to get to the studio.  I think its finally breaking after some small paintings and a remake of an old piece. I still sketch each day whether I want to or not.  I believe part of the process is the process of just turning up and trying.

I've thought about what inspires me and what makes me produce and have come to the conclusion that it's pressure and deadlines.  I've just completed the work for my solo exhibition, framed, ready to go, done the marketing plan, made the book, created the postcard invitations.  Now what?  There's a slump at the end of any project even if this one isn't complete until after the exhibition and artist talk in June.

Now I need to refocus on the plans I set out in January, my "Closer to Home" plans for creating work based on familiar places and things.  But without a plan, a deadline and pressure to work towards it, its easy to get sidetracked and go down any number of rabbit holes that may or may not be related to art.

For now I'm getting ready to put some pieces in a seasonal gallery and also a new gallery on the west coast, but once that is delivered, I can flesh out my plan and set myself some goals to move ahead with.