I have been having a great time painting the past couple of weeks. It is always refreshing after an exhibition is over and you get to begin a new series. It is also daunting at times...where to start? I get in the mood by stretching up new canvases and gesso priming them ready like white promises of what is to come. They inspire me to be bold...
I have nearly finished a commission I received at the last show ('Of Tree's and Water') from a local poet. He gave me his published works and asked me to read them and let the feeling of the words come through as I paint. The result is pleasing. It has taken many a turn along the way but when I felt disconnected I would read another poem and it reignited the thread of what was coming through.
Meanwhile, I have been exploring a brighter palette and bolder strokes. It suits the tone of the new year for me. I hope to make a series in the vein of the first painting for the year. It is energetic and so much fun to paint like that. Wide gestures, sweeping hand movements that use the whole body to come through, it is very much like a dance!
Often times painting is as much about when to stop as it is the process of building. With my layering technique I often have many stopping points along the way. There are times I wish I had of stopped when I didn't but in time these paintings have a lot of depth and are worth the sacrifice of what lies underneath.
Each layer adds a vibrational element that changes the whole painting. Some works just beg to be taken to the limit. The commission has been one of those. I have thought I was finished at least 3 times already but then it beckons for another layer, another color and so on. I still have a final glaze to go but it feels complete right now. I will see if it still feels that way tomorrow! :)
Here is a photo of the studio last night. The commission is drying on the floor. The rest of the work is still incomplete but all of it is being worked on regularly. I work on multiple canvases at a time as each layer needs to dry before I can paint another. I paint every day so I need to have a few on the go, it keeps things interesting!