To show work in process, unfinished work, to me is like strolling down Main St. in my skivvies.
Many artists have lovely videos showing how they methodically and beautifully go though the stages of a painting culminating in a miraculous finished piece. I don’t take that direct route very often with my work. I paint the way I grew up, with some very awkward and ugly stages. For me painting is like wandering through a maze. I usually find the way out but only after a number of dead ends.
Why on earth would I show you this process?
Well, for a few reasons.
#1 I want to show you that I’m a vulnerable human being like most people. That I wasn’t born with the ability to paint, I work my ass off for it.
#2 I thought you might find it interesting
#3 (Now for the real reason) I have given myself a challenge and I need your support. Most of the time I am trying to finish up a painting for either my gallery or a patron. I don’t have current work (besides some plein air pieces) sitting around the studio. Once done they are off to either their new forever home or to a spot on the gallery wall where they can vie for the attention of the public, kind of like an orphan when perspective parents arrive at the orphanage. This is all well and good but it doesn’t allow for a lot of creative experimentation on my part and it doesn’t allow me to enter pieces in juried shows and competitions.
Having just feed my gallery and a patron last week, and since the other patrons are hemming and hawing at the moment about the particulars of the commissioned piece, (something that is good and right to do) I have a little time to do something that can fail. Also there happens to be a show that I would like to enter a piece in (if they will have it). The only catch is, the entry form has to be postmarked April 15th. (No it’s not the IRS that’s offering the show.) So if the painting doesn’t fail, I have….let’s see….about 6 days and 15 hrs to complete it.
Remember what I said about 200 words ago? All that dead ending and reworking stuff really slows me down so this is a huge challenge for me. Did I mention the painting is four feet, by two and a half feet? Yep.
I’ll post a photo of it each day for the next week and give you a report on where I am in the creative process as described by the list below:
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Alright, The first image is the underpainting I started with. I really liked the image in a sketch but once it was 4 feet across I slid down to #3 on the creative process list. I sanded down the stem area and reworked it, (the 2nd image) bringing me to #5. . The 3rd photo is where it is tonight. Right now I’m at #2 on the list above. I slip up and down that list with great speed and agility.