Thursday, February 28, 2013

as promised, pink

A long time ago, I promised I would paint in pink.

My palette has been so murky for so long, it was positively shocking to use pigment straight from the tube.

I've been diluting the paint with turpenoid to do these block-y color washes. No canvas is being spared.

With the paint so thin, they dry quickly and I've been able to do lots of layers one right after the other.They're all evolving dramatically, good practice in not staying too attached to any one layer. Except this one... I'm too attached. 

It's terrible -- the ones I like too much, I unintentionally stifle by protecting them.

But it's good, too, to see that. To work in batches, and evaluate which ones are successful and why. Often it's the ones I don't like that change the most and pull ahead in the end. Not that I have any idea where the end is.

To the process! To color!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

heave, ho

Move your limbs. Open your ribs like blinds.

Reach, keep reaching. Accept that you will never get there.

THERE is an ego destination.

Do not think too much about blogging. Blaaahhhhhggging. It is quicksand.

Let the words fall out; quit with the editing and sorting. There isn't much in there, it seems, but sometimes you miss things during the first round. Go, look again. It could just be that you're tired. Or forgetful!


Everything feels like I'm holding back, like a wide space that I can't quite enter. Thoughts are jostling, constant, but none among them has any substance. The real words, the real painting, the real expression, is just beyond the periphery. I'm distracted, insisting on diction when the real meaning is in the melody.

Ten days ago the blizzard Nemo sculpted fantastic drifts in our back lot, and we went out with shovels to build. The snow was pristine, elegantly scooped out under trees, rising in smooth waves along garage walls, arriving at perfect ridges. Something about those shapes was so compelling, so inviting: I took Isla's hand and we charged in, needing to be part of it. But of course, as soon as I entered that space, I changed it. My wanting it, ever at odds with my having it.

So it is with painting.

I worked on a new portrait the other day, and I could tell that it wasn't going to flow. So, some days it does not flow. Do I push through, clunking? Or do I clean my brushes for the day, and sew instead?

I pushed, I fussed, I made some kind of progress. Is that progress, the fussing? Is it only progress when I like what I've done? It's hard to let it be unfinished.

The cure for self-conscious markings: more markings. I can't untrample that snow, but oh, how perfect that drift was, and how it pulled me.