2016 has started with a steady flow of creative energy, for that I am profoundly grateful! I struggled a little in 2015 which was, on a personal level, a very bittersweet year and one which I’m not sad to see end. On a positive note, we moved to a lovely & serene area in the country and I finally have room to comfortably have my studio in my home again. I loved having a public studio, and I do miss it at times, but I’ve come to realize that I’m most content when I can “live” with my work.
So we are almost a month into the new year…and while I don’t usually make New Years resolutions, I do have one New Year’s tradition that has served me well over the past several years. Each new year I start the year with a brand new empty journal. Those crisp blank pages, are like tiny canvases waiting to be filled with the wonders, heartache, joy and chaos of every day life. Our reaction to daily life, and the results of that reaction, etc, etc… It’s a process, the dialogue of life, you get the idea.
Coincidentally, this is also how I approach my artwork. All that “every day” stuff inevitably informs my work, things I see in nature, in the produce aisle, toys, (oh Nelly the toys! ) conversations with my husband or working with our son, all of it is a part of it. I am in the studio almost daily, whether I’m feeling particularly creative or not, I will spend some time in there. Because I am an intuitive painter and am currently focusing on non-representational work I have no reference point, nothing physical or “real” to look to for guidance. My work is in large part mood driven. Lately I’ve been starting each canvas with written words. This can sometimes be incredibly cathartic. Song lyrics, or a lengthy diatribe aimed at a careless driver, doesn’t really matter, I’m just after the graphic pattern of black charcoal on white. You may or may not see any of this in the finished piece, but that becomes my starting point, and I respond to what I see from there. This back and forth dialogue is affected by the zeitgeist of my day, and again, my mood at the moment. Brush strokes, palette, the overall energy, all of it depends on how I’m feeling at that moment.
This series of photos below are nearing the end of this “process,” showing the subtle and not so subtle transformations my most recently completed piece went through.
This is where the “living with my art” part starts. When it feels like it’s alllllmost completed it comes upstairs to hang out with me in the in family room for a day or two. You can still see some of written text at the top right.
After a couple days in the family room it’s back to the studio. The negative space on the right gets some attention and the yellow is toned down, more blue is invited to the party.
Yellow is invited back, just given a different assignment. And blue may have come on a little too strong.
What about a green circle?! I love a green circle!
Ok, maybe not, so much…. green circle.
And, the final piece!
Acrylic, hand-stained paper, ink and charcoal on gallery wrapped canvas.