I usually write in the mornings, right after breakfast. But today I started painting without even thinking about it. Then I found myself thinking too much! My thoughts were scattered, and I was having trouble making decisions about the canvas I was working on.
Even now, after a lunch break, I am having a hard time thinking clearly. So here I go, stumbling along, trying to sort my thoughts, trying to find something in the chaos that is worth grabbing onto. One thing I have been thinking about recently is that when I meet someone and tell them I am an artist, they almost always ask me what kind of art I make. And I find that a very difficult question to answer. I usually end up saying something like, "I make large mixed media pieces." Or I talk about one of my recent series. For example, I might get into a discussion about my current obsession with cubism and how that developed into a series of paintings that have overlapping images that depict a frenzy of movement. But this certainly doesn't encompass all of my painting styles.
One thing I have noticed lately is that my style has become bolder. I used to think that a painting should be beautiful. But my taste has changed. I find myself becoming bored more easily, valuing complexity, and very much caught up in the thinking behind the product.
One aspect of my artistic endeavors that has not changed, however, is the fact that I always have several projects going at once. I am presently working on a portrait of Elvis, two Marilyn paintings, and I have been priming a chair which will be covered with pop art for the "Word on the Street" show coming up at Gallery 211. I am also about to sketch my next frenetic cubism painting, utilizing the photos below!
What I have found to be interesting lately, is how one project often impacts another. For example, seeing the way several hundred Zentangles overlap and connect on my mannequin has made me look differently at certain aspects of linear composition when I am sketching, especially with regard to the overlapping figures I have been working with.
With the Zentangle process, I am very much aware of filling up space. My study of Picasso's work, spending some time each day watching him paint, has shown me that art can sometimes be a simple as breaking the picture plane into segments and filling them with patterns, blocks of color, or gradients. I have become very sensitized to the processes involved in my work, and find myself to be calm and quietly pleased when a line or a brush stroke is almost inexplicably right beyond what I intended to do. I find that I am less timid in my work, less afraid of making mistakes. And I am more productive.
I used to periodically have the feeling that I had "forgotten how to paint." I almost never have that feeling these days. I think, as strange as it seems, that I have finally begun to find my stride as an artist. I work on art every day for several hours. I study and experience and talk to my artist friends about art every day for several hours. And I blog about it. I am very fortunate.
I close today with this observation: