Sunday, July 11, 2010

I want this painting.

I'm almost finished with my second painting using a woven pattern. I should've waited to show you the end result, but I'm impatient and tonight offered me enough time to sit down and post this.

This has come together for me in less than a week's time. It measures about 24x40.

I made the woven texture wrap around the top edge of the panel. I estimate being able to complete this in another couple of hours. Well, then there's the sealant... but that's basically it.

A friend has suggested that I do things to make these paintings look as old as possible. Well, I mean, the woven part should look old, like it's some kind of artifact. I agree with this notion, though there's not a lot I can do to this current one to accomplish that. I will definitely change a few things in future pieces though. First of all, I won't draw out my pencil grid lines using a rigid t-square. I will pencil in more wavy lines so the appearance will be softer. I might also make some tattered places in the weaving, or worn edges. However, I do want to make the threads whitish, or off-white in my very next painting. That, in itself, might look newer, if not for some flaws or discolorations here and there. So I can't wait to start on it.

I shouldn't look too far ahead though, or plan the next painting after the next, etc. I was listening to an interview with the late Agnes Martin recently. She said she doesn't think about anything at all when she paints. I don't know if I could do that, as I always have something racing around in my head. But Agnes had learned to train her brain to empty itself. She used to meditate, but said she even stopped that thought process as well. She just wanted to be still and let the painting happen. She didn't feel that any of the inspirations were her doing, as if she were in the middle between someone/something else and the painting. Though she didn't take credit for the work, she said if something went wrong, she would have to take the blame. The worst thing an artist could think about is themself. When she is working on a painting, the only thing she will allow herself to be aware of is the fact that she wants the painting. I think that's a very good thing to acknowledge. here I go wanting mine.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Much Ado About Face

Hmmm, here it comes... an excuse intertwined with an explanation of the solution to my dilemma.
I haven't been completely clear about (or content with) the faces so far. The second looser one 'happened' in just a few hours, thankfully, but then I took a turn with it that I loved for the technique of it, but just not on a face. I started painting horizontal and vertical parallel lines in different values. The result was something I wanted to see painted on its own in an abstract piece. Here is a close-up over the eye area on my second face painting:

So after staring this gal down for a long time, I set her aside also, and began another piece, one without a face. The result was magical for me. I decided it was already time to 'about face' and change directions. I painted one whole piece in just a couple days' time. This isn't actually completely done yet, but it's close. It measures 23" x 23".

The upper righthand corner of this 'swatch' has a shaded under/over effect that I will do over the whole weaving. I used a basic soft leaded graphite pencil (9B) to do the shading and worked it in with a small blending stump. I'm very happy with the result. I feel like making a whole bunch more of these pieces now. I'm pleased that it goes so quickly and the tedious nature is actually very welcome to me. It's like knitting! What more could I ask for?