So I have been working on the first of the three pieces of the six ideas I have mapped out with preliminary sketches. I swear, sometimes I just wish I had a magic wand that transferred my original drawings exactly the way I drew them on the smaller paper, and magically make them appear onto the canvas (or panel). Wouldn’t that be something? (White people’s problem.)
I tend to crush on the quick and messy, original sketch. BUT, if I did have it exactly as I drew it in the first place, all those new and unexpected things might not happen. “Mistakes” or just new happenstances. They usually do. And I usually like them. I just get fickle in this in-between time when the composition is laid down as good as it’s going to get and parts are getting painted and I don’t know exactly where it’s going until I dig in deeper with the paint. You know, the fun part. 🙂
I’m doing these paintings in chronological order – the way each idea came to me. I think that keeps a kind of excitement going because I am wanting to accomplish the ones I’m working on so that I can get to the newer ideas as soon as possible, if that makes sense.
The first idea, like a few of these, came out of my secret EyeBook. I keep a few different sketch books. All of them have different purposes and ways I use them in practice. I can’t tell you exactly how I use the EyeBook, but it’s the most important of all my sketch books. Up until recently, I worked in it every day. The exception lately has been because of some serious depression and a long, drawn out change in medications. I have worked in it here and there on the days I am feeling like myself, but I don’t think there is one page in it in March yet.
The EyeBook sketchbook is about being able to see your own work in an objective manner, partly. The sketches are not supposed to become paintings, unless they just so happen to command it. It’s also about identifying (and clarifying) how you feel about (your) art, and your emotions, and knowing the difference. The point is, one of the first ideas came about because I was so preoccupied that particular day, I could not do the exercise. I wanted instead to get outside and start sanding and sealing all the small panels I had left stored under my work bench. I wound up drawing a quick, abstract sketch of someone sanding a panel – “The Sander.” I painted all the black outlines in oil on that one already. I’m waiting for that to dry so I can paint the rest white and tan. There will be a small rectangle of fluorescent orange because I marked that page in the book with one of those sticky tags.
Another day, I looked in another sketchbook of mine, I just call it the “drumset book.” It has a red drum set embossed on the cover. One of my collector friends – Kel, from North Carolina, sent it to me, and I love it so much. I try to only use it when I have a worthy idea to put in it. I am going to be sad when it is totally filled and I can’t use it anymore. But anyways, I found a sketch in there that I thought was a great idea when I drew it (right before I fell asleep), but then I woke up the next morning and decided it was really, really stupid.
Later, I took the drumset book with me when I went to Palm Springs and I added tiny little lines to it while I was thinking about whether or not I should leave my gallery and what I wanted to do with my life as an artist, and I started to really like it. I thought, “Why did I think this was so stupid? Because I thought the gallery might have thought it was stupid? …Well too bad.” Working title” “Four Thinkers.” It’s mostly black with fluorescent green, red and a bunch of pencil lines.
And the one I started on a pretty birch panel today I think I will call “Red Scarf” because if I call it “Rainbow Eater” then it might make people think it’s a face, and it’s really not. It is abstract and has no representational meaning. There is a curved area near the top that I took into Photoshop and colored it red, but I also colored another one purple.
I spent two days flipping back and forth between these two images, asking and re-asking mjp, “red or purple?” yet, not really listening to his answers because it was ultimately my decision.
Here is where I can sometimes go a little nuts. (A little?) Yeah, maybe it was three days. It wasn’t easy, but I made it red and to me, it was a scarf. And to me it was REALLY important. I love this composition and now it’s kinda different now that it’s on the panel and slightly different than the original sketch. There is a spiral in it that is now stout when it was kind of tall and thin. There is an extra band of light yellow above the main area of coverage. All the horizontal color bands are thicker and the foot (yes, I just love putting feet on things these days as you can plainly see) is a little bigger than I first drew it.
Is it ruined? No. Just different. I am just getting started painting all three now, and I have most of the week for quiet painting time. I am so happy and we’ll see where this all goes.
Thank you for reading without any images. It must be quite boring and quite difficult.