Not only did my work take a little shift early this year, but my way of working did also. Gone are the days of being quite so deadline dependant. I used to work on the final piece, pushing it through and finishing it up just in time to load it into the van and head off to a show. The downside to this was not only that I'd leave for a show physically exhausted, but I would also return home to a messy studio, with nothing but blank canvases to look at.
Now when I return home I find a handful of paintings in mid stream, ready to be be picked up and carried through to completion. This is more comfortable for me because I am not trying to start from scratch, trying to find the magic right out of the gate. I am inspired by what is in front of me, and can build on it. When I walked into the studio for the first time in a week, this is what greeted me...
Yes, "Chatterbox" has miles and miles to go, but it has good bones. And I was glad it was there, not only to jump start my painting, but as a bit of relief to it's sister in the studio. "Surly Girl" is also in progress, and is currently living up to her namesake. As much as "Chatterbox" is inspiring, "Surly Girl" is not. "Surly" is in fact going through a eye gouging ugly stage. The uglies are not always a bad thing, in fact they are practically expected, much like awkward teenage pimples. Sometimes I court the uglies, building on them on purpose. The uglies can be used to balance out a painting that has become too saccharine sweet, or you can surround a nice bit with something muddy, or squishy, and the contrast makes it shine.
But right now "Surly" is just ugly, muddy, patchy, and just difficult in general. And a sure fire way to be sure she stays that way is to sit here and continue to write about it. So off I go, let's see if I can get her back on the rails. If I do, I'll post about her, if I don't...well, try to forget I ever mentioned her.