Flexibility

Part of being an artist is learning to be flexible. My work never turns out exactly the way I want it to — the way I envision it in my mind. I have to be flexible enough to work with what I have, rather than what I was expecting.

It seems like I have to relearn this every time I pick up a brush. I’ll think that I have mastered a technique, that I have complete control over what I’m doing. But it doesn’t work that way. There are too many variables for me to have control — the size of the canvas, the viscosity of the paint, the intensity of each color and how the colors blend, the underpainting, and even the weather. Plus I keep changing things, because if I did the same thing all the time, it would be way too boring!

Painting is a metaphor for life — learning to let go of expectations and dealing with the reality of what is.

I can almost always turn what I’ve got into something beautiful, but I can’t follow a plan. I have to take a painting one step at a time, and figure out what the next layer should be after I see what the previous layers look like.

Here’s a detail of one of the panels I did today. I thought you might like to see it in process. So far this piece has underpainting and the first layer of paint. Several more layers will follow. I thought I was painting “winter,” but now I’m not so sure that’s what it will be. Time will tell.

New Work

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3 Comments

  1. Now, as I wake up, I can’t wait to see what blog you blogged during the past night of blogging!!

    The piece you photographed looks like horse-jockey riding a dragon of some sort. Anyhow, it’s got a dawn-morning lightness and grayness that seems soothing.

    But then, I always try to imagine figures burried in your abstracts…For example, I can see a sideways seated figure when staring at “Big Blue” and also a cow-head, looking out from “Moderna”.

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