Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tiny Gems

a bit of luck 9x12 mixed media collage 2009

I spend a good bit of time experimenting on small pieces. I often keep them, or give them as gifts. This particular painting was made with the idea of giving it as a graduation gift. (The young man asked for a painting - I know - an unusual request.) I didn't spend much time on it, it just came together very quickly. Most of the time the best work I do is very spontaneous - with no high expectations. The problem is, when I then try to use these little gems as studies for larger paintings-the spontaneity gets completely lost in translation. I end up "dinking" it to death, trying to get at the same freshness that I achieved on the small piece. This is a constant, CONSTANT, struggle for me. In trying to get back to a wonderfully messy, impulsive, and lively composition...I just end up with a mess. I guess if it was always this easy - painting wouldn't be so rewarding. Back to the drawing board.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Procrastination - thou art my nemesis!

Diptych 36x36 + 12x36 panels "Hanging Loose" 2009

Finishing a deadline always leaves me with the hollow question of what to do next. I am the type of person who likes fact I thrive on them! Without a "due-date" I flounder a bit. I wander from one thing to the next....sketching in the sketchbook....making little mini paintings to pin to my mini-painting assemblage...bouncing from one unfinished painting to the next. In fact I've tried to trick myself into a sort of fake-forced deadline on paintings, but I know the deal - so it doesn't work. Why do I procrastinate so? And is it- in fact, procrastination-or just part of the process? I finished the above commissioned piece just this morning. It likely would have been finished much sooner had the buyer given me a date that she needed it by. Even though I knew I wouldn't get paid until it was finished - it wasn't enough to motivate me like a : "I need to hang this before my company comes to visit on such-and-such-a-date". THAT would have kicked me into gear. What is up with that? It's certainly not because I don't need the sale! In fact, I am really trying to come up with some creative ways to boost business in these current economic times. But, alas, I dragged my feet on completing it ...and the really silly part is that the large painting was already finished and "sold"...all I had to do was make the small panel to complete the transaction. I feel like I am constantly in a self-sabotaging frame of mind - putting off things need to be done. Often times, I don't enter competitions because I've waited until the deadline and then -just can't get it together. I wonder sometimes if I'm the only one who does this? - and most importantly I wonder: WHY do I do this??? I have this quote hanging in my studio....maybe I should take it down: "Not all who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Driven to Distraction

The new "baby" - Angus T-Bone May 2009
Here is the brand new addition to the family. Casey's Angus T-Bone came to South Carolina last weekend and immediately turned the entire household upside down. We've all had to make some adjustments. My kids are big and help with "the baby" a lot...but they're busy and have sports and he is just like having a REAL baby in the house....naps, feedings, poop time, play time....What were we thinking? The household was on auto pilot! It was smooth and easy. We didn't have to introduce a new family member. But we missed our other bulldog SO much! And, of course....there is nothing cuter than a puppy! And yes, I am in love! And yes, he is a rolly-polly sweetie pie. So now, once again, I am trying to find the balance between doing the things I love (painting) and loving (and caring for) those around me. T-Bone likes to hang out in the studio with me while I try to paint. He hasn't formed an opinion yet on how he feels about abstract art. I guess we can talk about that when he's a little older.
Right now, he's busy trying to open canvases and hunt down stray paint caps and chew on the legs of my easels. I guess I'll just have to deal with the distractions for now. It's a little aggravating - but I can paint during "nap-time" and before the big kids get home from school. This only leaves a short window of opportunity to focus - but....what the heck...He sure is cute!