As you may have read in a few previous posts about the status of progress for my 2017 in-studio artist residency, you will notice that this period of 10 days started off on a bumpy and somewhat uninspired start (except for the day trip to NYC – that was inspiring).
In the previous two days, progressed onto brushing gesso and inscribing canvas, so my goal for today is to actually start painting another ‘rainy moment’ onto a large canvas.
I realized that part of the emotional block to just up and painting again was due to the immense failure of my last two large paintings. During a painting demo in late May, one of the canvases that I was plein-air painting fell face-first into a pile of pine needles.
Wet paint + pine needles = disaster that I didn’t have energy to deal with fixing
It has been a painting whose colors I was excited about, too. Additionally, the other painting I used for the painting demonstration (of a river going through a field to mountains) ended up neglected the day I painted it, causing the “drips” to get cakey instead of dripping — it was just not the vision that I had for the piece.
Now I was on a mission for redemption of these painting failures.
I looked directly at the pine-needled canvas across the studio, and picked that as my
starting point. I recreated the color composition of the dots of a series of reddish-purple-pink red maple trees next to other arbors in a park.
It took me all day to apply all of the thousands of dots to the canvas, until I got to the pointwhere I was comfortable smearing it. After I smear it, it’s up to gravity and I to come to a compromise about the final product.