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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Getting Back to Basics

After a jam-packed couple of years of art exhibits, selling a house, building a house, moving twice and getting married, I am settling into a more placid routine and enjoyment of life. I have very few artistic obligations on my calender, (only one show this coming spring plus a couple commissions) and I LIKE IT! I am luxuriating in my ability to spend as much time as I like on a painting, and have given myself permission to practice, to play, and create work for its own sake, rather than with an eye for sale.

After working from photographs So often, I have been feeling the need to draw and paint from life again. Working from photographs has tremendous advantages, but it can also lead to rigidity and complacency. So not only is working from life good practice, it also can broaden and deepen my experience in art making and lets me be in touch with the wonder of seeing.
Self portraits are an obvious choice when working from life- it is convenient and I don't complain about having to sit still for so long! But because I am concentrating as I work, most of my self portraits have a stern, even angry look about them. I'm not really angry, just absorbed in what I am doing, and that emotion gets translated into the finished work.

 Self Portraits are not the only life painting I have been doing. This is a painting of a pair of very large plants I have in my art studio.
By getting back to basics I aim to raise my confidence and mastery in my painting. As I joked to myself the other day, "I'm trying to teach myself how to paint."