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May 28, 2010

Pilgrimage


My latest painting started from a couple of unrelated watercolor sketches:



Half way through the background I found myself thinking I had seen this painting before...maybe I was imitating Klee?


Well, lots of calligraphers and artists use all caps, and maybe they are all influenced by Klee, but I went to the library and looked at all the Klee I could find.


I didn't see anything I was obviously copying but I thought the painting was kind of boring at this point. Adding blue made it worse so I scraped the whole thing down:


I'm not sure what I think of the finished painting, but it was nice to get away from trying to literally illustrate something. It's been a compulsion for me that I think stifles my work a bit.

May 25, 2010

Unpredictableness







something I have been keenly interested in is depicting the beauty and unpredictability of nature without actually rendering a likeness. The previous are some of my favorite sketches/experiments along those lines. I had intended to post experiments every week whether or not I thought they were any good. There is something about revealing work to an audience, however small and electronic, that helps me see my work from outside my own head. Sometimes life makes other plans for us, though. I distinctly remember thinking, after I made my last post in February, that it would NOT be my last post for an undetermined amount of time. I seemed to think that getting artistically way-laid by a sad heart was a sign of a weak character. Recently, though, I've been reading Providence of a Sparrow by Chris Chester. It is a beautiful book, and has informed me that sparrows form very strong attachments with their mates and grieve heavily when they lose them. Since I believe that birds are happier and better adjusted than most people, I've decided that slacking off on a blog after a break-up is a perfectly sane and reasonable thing to do.


Crow Studies






May 24, 2010

Touseled




Adaptations


I knew when I graduated that I would have to be prepared for a period of adjustment: looking for work, getting used to work, moving, not having weekly classes with friends, peers, and professors. I thought this would last a few months, maybe even six considering I had an injured achilles. I remember thinking it was going well at one point, I was painting, I was glad to have more independence. But the weekly grind of full-time work, the constant search for medical providers willing to work with Washington State Insurance, and the trials of romance, seem to have frittered away most of a year. sometimes I am horrified and dismayed by this, I really only have two new pieces that I would consider finished. But aside from the stacks of studies, and things that didn't work out, I feel like I have traveled through the layers of an onion. Each skin a question, a worry, a piece of indoctrination about what art and artist are and should be. Of course, in the middle is just another piece of onion. And for that I pull myself out of the quicksand of excuses and hesitation to embrace the fact that the art inside me has its own life, and it is not what my mind has been envisioning.

May 19, 2010