Finally after a number of weeks settling in to a new neighborhood and getting comfortable with a new school routine for my youngest, I am back in the studio doing what I love. It has been a long Summer of change and although it's funny to admit, but I was wary of picking up my brush after such a long absence, fearing the ability to paint may have left me.
I suppose it is something creatives share, a little doubt creeps in here and there but I had not had such a long hiatus before and almost felt as though my work may have felt abandoned in some way and maybe punish me for leaving....I am sure there is some long psychoanalysis that could link that to some Freudian thought but in truth creating is a muscle of sorts...it needs to be flexed to retain it's strength. I know drawing is like that, when I drew nightly, I could draw quite well but after a long period of not drawing I can no longer say that, it isn't true. With much gratitude, I can say it is not the case with painting, at least not for me. It came flooding back in the same fashion it always has. How welcome a feeling too!
I have decided to create a new body of work that builds on the pieces I was still working on in Dallas before we left. I did the same when we moved from Melbourne, Australia to Dallas some 4 years ago. I left little windows in the new works to show the journey from the original start point I had begun in Australia. I felt they were my bridging works. Bridging old to new, familiar to exploring. The works spoke of this too. I had been painting in veils of color, almost a wash and then worked over those paintings in a highly texturized almost sculpting fashion.
So, as my surroundings changed so did my technique and the way in which I was working. I am yet to see the full development of what changes will appear on canvas as a result of the changes I have made in my life recently but I like the idea of continuing the unfinished canvases again. It's quite cathartic to 'bring them' into the new and yet honor the foundations of how they began. A subtle integration of past and present. Much like the process one undergoes when moving to a new place to live. You are still the same person but there are subtle changes and a lot to digest and assimilate.
I love that my work can provide me a haven for playing with these thoughts and come to terms with all that is while creating a painting that speaks to me of the process I am undergoing. I am sure the colors of the landscape and the feel of the people I am meeting all effect the choices made in the studio as much as my internal reflections. I am very excited to be back at work, letting the brush sweep across the canvas and the colors melt into one another to show me something new. I have rediscovered a wrist based action which comes across as almost a language of sorts. I have enjoyed that movement for many years, not in all my work but often present even if sometimes deeply overpainted.
One of the new developments is the desire to let that language speak again and perhaps more loudly. My wrist enjoys the fast and flickering action on the canvas, not much thought but a lot of flow. I shall continue incorporating this technique for as long as it feels good to do so.
My Studio is being housed in the garage for now, with plans to build a dedicated space once we are able. The garage has it's benefits. I am not worried about making a mess, which is freeing and the lighting is good, although not natural lighting but canned on tracking, so I can highlight a point to paint if I wish. In truth, I still mainly paint in the evening anyway, so my fantasy of natural lighting in the studio is a bit ahead of me actually working in the hours I would have light available. I do think I will be painting more in daylight hours as time goes on as i no longer need to wait until the children are sleeping, which is where my night time practice originated. Still, habits die hard and it is so still and quiet at night. There is something very conducive to creativity in those hours.
Anyway, it has been some time since I have updated my journey and thought it time to share what has been going on...we have begun...there are many layers down on a number of different sized works and I will post them as I complete them with their stories. Meanwhile, here is a peek at the Studio (garage) and my temporary set up! It feels good to be in California!