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Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Year. New Post. Continuing my Artistic Journey.

With the Plein Air Painters of the Mid-Atlantic at the Beach, Sept. 2013

Spent yesterday in the studio just writing, reading and thinking about what I accomplished in the past year. Seems to be a pattern for me.

I have kind of neglected our blog this year. Devoting more time to facebook I guess. I suddenly felt the urge to write more, to come to this diary of mine and think more about what I have done in this past year and what the new year will bring. By my count I made around 20 new paintings this year. Experimented with acrylics in new ways and worked larger and larger. Even dabbled in oils, which I mean to do more of this year - currently taking a weekly class to learn more about the material and how it behaves. Way different from watercolors and acrylics.

With watercolors, it's so easy and light - just a watercolor palette or travel kit, a brush, pen/pencil and paper and you're good to go. Clean up with water and you're done. Acrylics have been fun - I've enjoyed the layering of color, the scumbling with a coarse brush and being able to add lights/whites on top. They dry fast which is good and bad. But all the tubes and water and stuff I've had to carry around seem a bit cumbersome, especially for plein air work.

But oils. They are so creamy and buttery. What the "Masters" used. You can squeeze them out and keep them on a palette so you don't have to carry around the tubes of paint. That's what my Open Box M easel box is intended for. To leave the paints right in the box. Tempting. I did a few paintings in December and January that I liked. Hoping this class will answer a lot of the questions I have about dealing with the fact that it dries slowly.

All part of what I've been calling my "Artistic Journey." Took two workshops with Marcia Reed and really loved how it expanded my thinking and informed my work. Loved the process of meeting every two weeks to critique and discuss art in general and artists she would recommend based on what we were doing. And then working independently, not sharing or talking about what we were doing. It felt like a complete self-guided journey, OK, maybe a guide at the outset, setting a tone, making suggestions, but doing the work alone, from my own head, hand and heart.

I guess that's what I want to do. To explore. EXPLORE. That is my word for 2014.

We're going to Ireland for 3 months this summer. That will be a different kind of exploration, but one that will also include painting, journaling, exploring a different landscape, different colors, light. On my own with no guide.

Possibly other changes happening in the future too, but not ready to talk about.

"Leap and the net will appear" - a friend reminded me of this Zen saying recently. I've said this before - to myself and others. What will it mean? Where will I leap to?

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