Thursday, September 19, 2019

Flood and Ebb

I'd hoped this week to reach flood tide, with the water high and full, paintings completed and framed.

But with the tide as with so many things, I appear not to be in control! I am here in the right now, just the way it is, and the way it is appears to be an ebb tide, with framing steps still in process.

I will be off traveling starting this weekend. I'll pick up the narrative sometime after my return.

A marker to hold my place:


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Processing Plant

I am not a fan of processed food.

But the process of creating art? Can't get enough of it.

Love to watch process unfolding live as others paint, love videos of process, love seeing process photos, love the many stages of process in my own work.

Well, mostly I love the process in my own work.

My current salt marsh painting has involved a gosh-darned long but nonetheless engaging process, with multiple practical and artistic dilemmas needing resolution en route once I got clear about where it was heading.

Here's where things stand at the moment in the processing plant that I call my studio. I'm hoping to frame and display what has become two paintings. This will be an at-home job, using simple store-bought frames. The dilemma at this stage is the buckling and warping that resulted from my painting and collaging process.

The buckling and warping do not read as compelling captivating texture. They read as … buckling and warping.

Exhibit below, as seen from the back where it turns out, to my delight, that I can see archaelogical treasures from when this painting was a field of wildflowers.

But I digress.

buckled warped paper, backside of painting

The buckling and warping were front and center when I did a trial run of framing. Further, the mat board didn't lie flat against the paintings, thereby causing gaps and casting undesired shadows.

My first line of defense was to tap artist friend Jen Jovan for ideas. And so it was that I applied gesso to the backs of the paintings a few days ago, let them dry completely, and set up a press under which they continue to sit, in hopes that they will lie flat when released.

You know how some people feel agitated by light touch, preferring instead the weight and comfort of deep even pressure against their skin, a big solid bear hug? I hope my paintings are just like that.

paintings under makeshift paper press

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Latin Root "Cise"

Over the course of a few days, my work in progress made it clear that we were moving from wildflower field

wildflower field

to salt marsh—

salt marsh

—a work-in-progress salt marsh that was asking me to make decisions.

The Latin of the word decision literally means to cut off. Making a decision is about cutting off choices; it is to cut yourself off from some other course of action than the one you choose to make.

Even more literally, in this case, I understood that it might mean cutting this work in progress in half, thereby cutting myself off from developing it in its 18 x 24" size and, instead, developing two 12 x 18" pieces.

I began to entertain the possibility.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Changing Course

I thought I was painting a field of wildflowers.

Work-in-Progress said, Nope.

I mixed up more greens and grays, covered the pops of wildflower color, added texture with gel medium, used India ink to introduce asemic writing, waited for my next operating instructions.

detail; greens and grays
detail; texture
detail; asemic writing

work in progress

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

In the Practice of It

I took my 18 x 24" page of preliminary mark-making started in early July and ran with it for several days.

I began following an idea of wanting to paint abstracted wildflowers in a field of grasses.

work in progress
18 x 24"; ink, acrylic, and latex

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Artist's Statement

From a book not about painting, this statement:

You learn how to do it in the practice of it.

That's exactly what I do when I paint—learn how in the practice of it.

In early July, I turned to a new page in a notebook of Canson 90-pound 18 x 24" drawing paper. I began making marks and mixing up shades of green using yellows and blacks. Practice, practice, practice.

18 x 24 " start