Friday, November 22, 2013

....two steps back

I face many challenges in my life as an artist, and the most obvious and urgent of them is simply not having time to paint.  I have a day job--and not just a day job but a vocation, an ever present need, concern, responsibility, privilege, and pain.  I'm a college professor.  Term time for me as a painter is a long desert to cross.

Oh, and I'm a daddy too, of a three-and-a-half-year old.  Basically, during term time, I work all day, come home, and work all night.

Miraculously, I got a painting done recently.  Not surprisingly, it's not one of my best efforts, not by a long shot.


What went wrong here?  The pose is gorgeous, many individual bits are good (I like the feet).

I see two issues that I hope I can learn from (hence this posting).  One concerns the paper: I have used this paper a lot, but relative to other paper I use, I think this paper does not take the paint well.  The second, more serious, issue concerns paint.  It's a simple technical issue.  I made purple for shadows here using aquamarine and crimson, and those two paints just don't work together--they separate and look grainy.  The painting loses the crispness I've been seeking (and finding) in other paintings lately.

Sigh.

I wish once again that I could teach myself not to worry about the outcome--that the process is all that really matters.  But the truth is I want to make good paintings.  It feels like the least I can do for my generous models.