Thursday, February 28, 2013

Back in the sweat shop

I didn't go into the studio today. it is still very hot and I feel really tired and lacking in motivation. Artworks are coming together though, for the exhibition coming up in the Swan Valley. I've only ruined one so far. I can feel the anxiety rising as I get closer to finishing them off. I end up really liking parts of a painting and then there are other parts I want to change, at the risk of stuffing up the whole thing.

That is the point I'm at with a work on the resurrection, that is to go behind a church altar for Easter.
It's finished but I want to make it even more special and I'm starting to fiddle. Stop now!

I keep forgetting to take photos too so I can keep a record of their progress. I'll try and remember tomorrow, in fact I'll put a reminder on my phone.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

How do you know when a painting is finished?

I was asked recently, "how do I know when a painting is finished?" Answering with "I just know...they talk to me" was a bit glib, so I gave this question a bit more thought.

Paintings do let me know they are finished or nearly complete. Not verbally of course, but they speak to me in other ways. It is often when there aren't any areas that are awkwardly sitting there on the surface of the canvas or jumping out like dogs balls when they are not supposed to. It's complete when I go to add a bit of this here and a bit of that there, but come to realise it doesn't improve the overall look any more and if I'm not extra careful, this is where the painting can loose it's purity and essence by being overworked.
If, I feel there is a major change that needs to happen then I leave it for a day or two and come back to it with a fresh mind and clear eyes. On the other hand, I can think a painting is finished and I come back the next day to find that it clearly is not and wonder what on earth I was thinking the day before!

It is like a dance at the end. I make a move, then the image responds. I mostly looking for balance and contrast between light/dark, textured/ smooth, active and restful areas, hard edges/soft edges etc in the overall image.

As I prefer not to work from a fixed subject or image, it means the whole painting is being created from my memory and life experiences. Ultimately it is from that place only, that I will know if I have resolved what I first set out to achieve. It is always a challenging stage of the creative process and I have learned the most by making many mistakes. I've developed a lot of patience along the way and I try not to rush things through just because there is a deadline. If I can't complete the work to my satisfaction and the deadline is looming it is better for me to pull out that work from the exhibition, if at all possible rather than madly force through to an unsatisfactory and un-resloved ending. High pressure deadlines are for the very experienced and seasoned artists. I will have to get used to them eventually, but not while I am still learning so many other new things to build my art career.

So, my experience, up till now has taught me to take my time, be committed, show up daily to your work even when it goes pear shaped, practice, practice, practice, don't bully your artwork, be gentle, stand back and look and wait for the artwork to speak to you, love it, nurture it and journey with it to the finish. In the end you want your work to speak to the viewer, so it needs to speak to you first of all. If it doesn't, then let it go!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Blood Sweat and Tears

Worked really hard in the studio yesterday. It is so hot in there. Feels like a sweat shop! Many of the works are quite large and require some energy to cover in paint before it dries up. I can feel the sweat trickling down my back and face. I get really annoyed when a drip falls off my chin and onto my painting, leaving a splotch. Talk about blood sweat and tears? The only time I remember the 'blood' part was when I cut my finger on the end of the wire that attaches to the back of the finished artwork. I always tape it up now so it doesn't happen to others. I've had a few tears over some works of art too.

I have chosen 24 paintings from my studio, to work on for the exhibition which opens on April 1st, at Winery in the Swan Valley WA. Most of them are works that need to be resolved with extra layers of paint and scraping back to see what is revealed. Some will need a complete transformation, while others just need some touching up.

I got home around 7:30 after 5 hours of back straining work and hopped straight into a beautiful shower and then collapsed into bed and wait straight off to sleep. I must remember the hard work I put in next time I'm pricing my artwork!

Photos of work coming soon:)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Breathe Deeply

Oh my giddy aunt! Not too sure what I am doing with all my on-line stuff?

I now have 3 separate blogs. One for art, another for improvised dance and movement and one more for my personal life. I'm now thinking of switching my art blog to a web page hosted by and possibly keeping a collection of images on Flickr.

I'm looking closely at a favourite artist of mine named Jeane Myers. She doesn't know it yet but I am in love with her work, her artist statement, her web page and blog set up and her fabulous photo collection on Flicker. She is also on Twitter! I'll need to email Jeane and ask her for some guidance I think.
Flickr j m myers' photostream

It is all very involved but I have been thinking about taking a more professional approach to my internet face for quite a while. There are so many choices and it is a matter of finding out what works for me I guess. Just got to stay calm, try not to get to obsessed about it all and remember to breathe deeply and smell the freshly cut grass...or something!

Studio news coming soon....already lots of new things happening including an exhibition in April.

After the rain