Feb 23, ‘11
I’ve been up for a few hours, at work for about an hour. Not much is happening as far as being motivated to work on this painting. I sit and stare and mess around on the computer. I’m out of coffee so contemplating a trip to the store. At the moment, I feel like an old and cranky machine that doesn’t work well in Chill. The temp today, so far, is 19◦’s, with sunshine. The predicted high for today is 37◦. Hard to get going, this morning....
Albert is in my lap, purring, settling down for a nap. He’s very warm. He seems to love it when I’m sitting and thinking because that’s good news for him and his nap schedule. One of his cues that it’s an opportune moment to settle down on my lap is when he hears the cards slapping (continuously, monotously) as I absent-mindedly concentrate on FreeCell.
Besides FreeCell, I use the computer a lot in my work. All my reference photos are stored in my computer or on an External Drive. When I take photos, I’m training my mind and eye, AS IF I were going to do a sketch or painting. With a digital camera, the possibilities are endless also inexpensive so a lot more reference material than a few costly film photos and notebooks. I think of some of my heroes and how they might love the computer, too. D H Lawrence and all that endless pencil sharpening and laborious writing his story down on legal-size yellow lined paper. Emily Dickinson writing down her poetry on bits and scraps of old envelopes or grocery lists in off-moments from the daily grind of life and elder care in the 1800's. Imagine what she could have done with a word-processor.
When copy-machines came into being I thought of my grandfather, WWII, and he a Major in the Army Air Corp, stationed at the Pentagon. In peacetime, a journalist and newspaper editor. He wrote a family newspaper that was made up of news that had been sent to him by a few relatives and sent copies to the rest of is family and his son who were in the Service, one in England, one in the South Seas. He may have done 10-12 editions per month, 4 copies at a time, on his typewriter using thin and crackly paper interspersed with layers of carbon paper. That’s a lot of typing. And messy carbon paper.... I think he’d love the computer and all the possibilities; in my mind’s eye, I see him Googling all the time.
I document a lot of my process as I’m working on a painting and store the information – for the past 10 years or so. I started photographing my process after reading so many art magazines which showed much progressive works of a variety of artists. After I got a digital camera I realized I could do that too. I love the ability to transform an image from color to monotone and I love the ability to see my work reduced to the size of a thumbnail and feeling as if I’m seeing the image from very far away.
Okay. With all this writing and thinking, I’m ready to paint.
Thursday Feb 24, ‘11
I worked on this painting for a few more hours yesterday, after I wrote the 1st part of this entry. I stopped painting when I reached this point shown in Feb 24 photo. After that flurry of activity -- which felt like an out of time experience -- I’ve settled the painting on the easel and have lived with it as it is for almost 24 hours, have been aware of many thoughts & feelings regarding this painting and the process.
A thought that comes up a lot from within is that it’s almost there. It's blurry, needs sharpening.... Another thought is that if I push it, rush into a finish, I’m going to barrel past ‘there’ and end up in a mess. Then I’ll have to blog about making changes with Q-tips – which I’m sure would be deadly boring -- for me as well as any reader. One of my goals with this painting is Little or No Q-tips.... In my experience, I’ve spent far too much time cleaning mistakes with Q-tips and water and wanted this to be a painting where I didn’t spend a lot of time rubbing out, fixing.... So am holding off on painting today, until a time when I can ease myself back into a zone where I don’t have alternate time-pressure. I’ll continue to peruse, to meditate on this painting and look forward to working on it whenever....
Going out today is a good thing. The sun is shining and the temperature is climbing up to the 40's. I’ll come back with a day’s work behind me and next month’s rent $'s in the bank. For right-brain activity/meditation I’m planning on a sketching session from my car at lunch-time. In warm sunshine and perhaps there will be bird-calls.
The plan for today is activity, away from the studio, out of the house and on the road; left-brain tasks and plenty of them. Let’s Ride!