I have been re-working old pieces for the past few months. When I say that, I mean in the three times I sat down to paint since the beginning of the year 2020, I have been working on the colors and perspectives of three of my old pieces.
The first piece, above, was one that I didn’t like. Even when I “finished” it the first time, it wasn’t really completed. I usually feel that way though. It always seems like I could keep working something forever. In reality, I work on it until I am bored. The Staredown still doesn’t seem finished though. I think it needs to be blended together in some way. I may need to recolor the body or add some goldenrod. I’m not sure.
I have also been playing with watercolors as a means to study color mixing. I love watercolors, but I am really bad at them to be honest. I enjoyed this session (below) of playing around with the color wheel to achieve moodiness and cohesiveness in a palette.
The other two pieces I am re-working are still in progress. Both are portraits of my sisters. They needed something more to make them come alive. I have been trying to remember that photographs only need to influence and motivate a piece; they don’t need to be duplicated in the piece. In effect, I have been attempting to be more ethereal and fantastical with the colors and backgrounds. I want my work to reflect my interpretation of the moment that was captured by the photograph.
I am really proud of the progress I made on the one below.
I can’t believe how fast the years are flying by me. It seems like things that I think happened a few months ago, happened a few years ago. I drafted a post to discuss my attempts at watercolors two years ago, when I attempted a “Year of Making.” Every day, I made a point to make something even if the project was just making dinner. I would love to do another Year of Making soon. Maybe 2019 will be a good year for it.
I haven’t been sketching or drawing almost at all since college. With oil paints, I tend to do a really rough sketch with pencil before I start adding paint. Sometimes, it gets me in trouble because the composition needs more forethought than a rough sketch. With watercolors, the sketch needs to be complete. It’s a different process.
When I mention that I paint, people are eager to say “Oh, are you an artist?” In that moment, I think of artists like my professor from college. I think of peers who practice more regularly than I do. I think of Picasso, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, DaVinci. The only response that seems honest is:
I hesitate to use the word “artist.” I know I’m not the only person to shutter at the label, but I know a lot of artists that wouldn’t use any other word to describe themselves. There’s something inherently arrogant about using the word to describe myself. At least, that’s how it seems.
I managed to sell a few pieces over the past few years, but I haven’t really figured out what I’m doing yet. I like photography. I like knitting. I like sketching. I like painting. I like strumming a guitar and singing. I like designing page spreads and layouts.
I am currently attempting to get off my phone and practice more of everything – with special attention to the paintbrush. In an attempt to make myself feel more legitimate, I’m putting imagery online. Despite not being able to identify as an artist, personally, I have learned how to use the Portfolio format on this blog, and will be begrudgingly displaying my art online. You can click on the “STUDIOS” link in the header at the top of the page to view the entire collection. A sampling is below. I hope to continue to add more soon.