Wednesday, November 3, 2010

art hour

Last week I had an abbreviated "art day." It was "art hour." I managed to do a couple of swabs of gesso in a collage journal I'm keeping. I unpacked some canvases. I looked at the notebook of ideas I've been collecting for a year or more. I "showed up," as they say. I tried not to expect too much.

But I thought I'd post some pictures of the progress I made on the bone pieces last time I worked on them, and then at least to you guys it will seem like I'm still an artist!

When we left off, I was enamored of my new overhead projector, and starting to get the contour drawing situated on the canvas. One piece looked like this:

I wanted to rough it up a little, but still keep the paint strokes looking dynamic.

Then I realized I had to bring the bone form forward a little more, so it didn't get lost in the scumbled-up background.

It's hard for me to be at a standstill at this stage. Based on the pictures, I like the first layer the best. It's like watching your sweet innocent newborn turn into a wily unpredictable toddler. On one hand you're like, my kid's grown so much and he's so smart and complicated and learning so much about the world; and on the other hand you're like, why can't I go back to the simplicity and ignorance and bliss of pure baby-dom? But then later you'll be like, ahhh the toddler years were SO EASY compared to this hooligan teenager! Enough of that metaphor.

The other painting looked like this:

I got it looking nice and safe, which I can't stand, so then I went all botched skin-tone miasma* on it. Not in a good way:

*credit to Jason for that official art term

I think I follow a fairly predictable arc, don't you? Tip the scales one way, then the other, then whooooaaaaaaa, back the other way, quick! Damn. Crazy artists.

So, it's got some more interesting wash-y layers, which I like a lot, but no real focus. I'm hoping to do a little more texture in the background, and then bring the bones to the foreground again.

I do this thing to myself where I want all kinds of haphazard layers and pieces of things all jumbled together, but then I find some area I like and try to protect it. That causes the whole composition to seize up, and then I stall out, forcing things to fit where they don't. Then I sit and contemplate for a while.

Just kidding, who has time for that!

Stay tuned for the next layer!



jdanel said...

you've got those nice Michigan winter colors happening again- perfect timing! We'll squirrel away some time for you to go wild with the painting this winter- promise! love you Mamblah!

Lauren Mags said...

Just checking in from across a smaller pond, it's interesting to see the canvas's progression over time, glad to hear you are getting *some* art time!