Thursday, May 26, 2011

in between bones

When the paints are out, no canvas is spared. And oh, the paints are OUT.

I started a bunch of pieces back in December of 2009, and didn't make any significant progress until almost a year later. I quaintly told you to "stay tuned" -- are you still tuned? Breath bated? I know, you haven't been able to sleep.

Less than a year since we left off, our hero looked like this:

I like the composition, and I like the movement of the brush-strokes, but it needed some serious changes. These first few layers have been acrylic paint, and I wanted to shift gears to oil. When I do that, I have to stop protecting what I like about the last layer. Like Annie Dillard says, you have to be willing to take out the bearing wall.

So this felt kind of risky, but I think it clarified things a bit. And now it's ready to be simplified even more... hopefully sooner than 2012! But you never know!

Here's another one in the works, from the same time. It was going to be another bone piece, but so far it hasn't decided what it wants. I started with the same wash-y yellows and browns:

Then collaged in some tissue/pattern paper and made a few hesitant swipes of blue and scratchings of charcoal.

I always want a really exciting layered background, but I clam up after the first layer and get scared to just attack it. I want to be bold, but I'm reluctant to make bold moves. I must move past this.

It's easier to move this one to oils, since there's no real subject yet. It's so nice to see the depth and softness of the oil paints... acrylics just can't compare.

It's kind of interesting to me that I'm doing all these variations on the same theme, with the same color combinations. I used to bemoan the fact that there was no consistency in my art -- it turns out all I have to do is paint the same things over and over. Truly, I did not know this.

I also didn't know it would take YEARS for some paintings to evolve. But I figure I'm doing pretty good, what with the two kids and the two moves. I hope I look back on this time and marvel that I was doing anything creative at all, besides making pudding.


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