As always, unsure of what I would create today, I decided to revisit my fourteen year old self. Back before I knew there were rules that applied to painting. Back to a time when I painted for the sheer joy of putting paint on a canvas. No subject matter in mind I simply began to layer the paint on, thickly at first, then dissatisfied, scraping away the paint frustrated at my inability to know what it was I looking for. Aside from my struggles with perspective, my greatest failing as an artist is my inability to transmit what is in my head onto a canvas. There are times when I see a shadow of an idea, but lack of completion of the thought. I don’t believe it is something that can be taught, its instinctive. I truly believe that it comes from the daily practice of brush to canvas. It is what I intended those many months ago when I began to transform this project from its original platform of simply using up what I had on hand, to a transformation of my artistic self. To become a fully developed artist, to understand who I am as an artist, and to find that elusive confidence that I have lacked for so long. I have without a doubt seen signs of what I can achieve, I have discovered new ways of creating art that I truly love, but I still find myself searching for my artistic identity. I am capable of incredible likeness in portrait drawings and paintings, and six months ago that perfectionism was what I thought I wanted and needed, that is no longer the case. I believe there is more to me than that. My Dad has on occasion volunteered my talents. I have done the portraits of children I’ve never met, and even after a printer failed to come through on an order, replicated the logos and business ads for and entire booklet for a fundraiser. (Needless to say, not happy about that one!) I would complain and say, “I’m not a copy machine.” Yet here I was months ago bemoaning my want for perfection. No longer. Photography has it place. It produces the exact image of its subject. What I have failed to understand is that art is more than a representation, it is an emotion. I want to feel about my subject, and I want you to feel when you view it. What happened tonight was a scraped canvas that caused a reaction, a feeling in me. Colors that jumped off a canvas begging to be repainted. It’s a solitary work, I am a solitary woman, you can see that in much of what I do with a brush and a camera. It was very windy here today, I’ve also been hearing much about hurricane Karen. I didn’t think tonight, I painted. Troubled skies, and uncertain seas, maybe my mind is on the canvas after all.
I mentioned all the “orphans” in my studio, those half done works of art left waiting for my attention. There are also a few “finished” works. Paintings that qualify as finished only because paint covers the entire a surface of the canvas. They are pieces that I felt were not representative of the kind of artist I want to be. One of the biggest issues, one that I have mentioned before is that the work is flat, dimensionless, lacking in texture, (can I think of any more adjectives?) work that I felt wouldn’t evoke feeling when looked at. I have seen a number of works of art in my life that make me feel, make me want to be in a place, or make me want to rush home and pick up a brush and paint. That is the kind of work I want to create, work that inspires feeling, or more than that, work that would want someone else to follow their creative dream. When I went into my studio today to decide what to do,I chose painting. I enjoyed the exercise yesterday, and my favorite critic/fan (Dan), loved the result. I wanted to use a smaller canvas, I still wasn’t sure of the subject matter, so I grabbed an 8×10 from the shelf. It was an orphan, a finished one. A canvas that I had painted and then shoved back on the shelf to paint over. If there’s a benefit to painting too flat, it’s that it is that much easier to cover. The painting was a simple one, just a sky and water scene. It had some texture, but it was boring, no movement, nothing. Instead of covering it up I decided to give it new life by using a style similar to yesterday. I changed the color just a touch, using the paint that was still on my palette from yesterday. I didn’t take my glasses off this time, although I wasn’t working in the best light possible. I’ve posted both, a before and after. I see the difference, and better yet this time I feel a difference. It is only the first of many, many half done, or hidden works of art. Now I just need to prepare myself when I’m ready to let some of my finished work go, when I do my first show.