Saturday, August 15, 2015

Flying by the Seat of my Pants

I'm keeping my wings flapping because I'd rather be flying than earthbound.

But this flying? It's by the seat of my pants, I tell ya.

I played again with the scene in the photo from Bo. A photo of a place I've never been, that probably barely does justice to the scene as viewed in person, and that isn't an easy reference for me because the darks, lights, textures, and composition don't lend themselves to an eye-popping painting—meaning the eye-popping part has to come from me!

Two days ago I painted with Bo in mind, which led me—without being conscious of what I was doing—to paint the scene so she'd recognize it. Porch Perspective was a reasonable replica that was fun to paint but didn't make me sing. One lesson: I want to paint more deeply from within.

The next day I approached the scene with a more expressionist mindset and more attention to color and contrast. I relied more on my internal compass than the photo. Feet Up on the Porch Railing got me humming a little but still not singing. Repeat discovery: I have so much to learn.

Well, nothing for it but to keep painting and learning.

Today, before painting, I selected the first abstract landscape that caught my eye online and sat with it. Let my eyes move in every direction. Breathed in the colors, the surprises, the lines, the darks and lights, the texture of the knife work. Kept sitting with it.

Then I went to my studio. I used a paint knife to apply 98% of the paint. I used a dry brush in some areas to scrub the applied paint. As soon as I felt a first ping of satisfaction, I closed up shop. I'm singing a little song. Awareness: I know so little, and the not knowing presents captivating problems to solve, engaging decisions to make.

I'm gonna keep flapping my wings.

Porch Peregrinations
5x7", acrylic on unstretched canvas
abstract landscape


  1. It was fascinating getting to this version. I seem to be doing quite a bit of experimenting these days.