I’m working on a smaller canvas size…and it seems more difficult than larger canvas work. When I worked on larger canvas, 40X50″ plus, I would just start painting and something would happen….now I come up with a concept and even a drawing before I begin. Maybe the pre-structure limits my expression…kind of like coloring in the lines! In any case, usually what I plan doesn’t work anyway and the painting evolves into something I didn’t plan. That’s probably because painting isn’t really about thinking….it’s about finding what feels right.
Every now and then, someone requests a copy of a painting I’ve completed and sold. I don’t personally know other artists who do this, but I’m sure they are out there. It’s difficult to tell what paintings will sell and which ones will not. Unless I’m painting a commission, I paint what I feel like painting! It is a compliment when an art buyer requests a repaint of a sold painting. The repainting is certainly not exactly like the original. I guess I could project an image of the original on a blank canvas, but that would be too precise for me. In the repainting, I can revisit the original idea and make changes that may even improve the original idea….I don’t know if they are really “improvements”…more like just changes in my present painting style and color choices. In the past, I have repainted “Best Friends”…a black dog and yellow dog sitting side by side several times, and Three Black Dogs. Three Black Dogs was originally donated to a rescue fund raiser back east….
Now I have several paintings to do, and I have the canvas primed and ready to go, but I have no energy! I think it must be the shorter kind of dreary days of fall. We’ve spent some time repairing a wall in our store and everything is looking fresh and new. I could take some inspiration from this feeling and actually do a painting about this change of season. I’m writing this down to remind myself that I feel this way every year.
Mind Dance is a painting I did in 1997. I’m sure I was feeling the same way then as I do now. It’s comforting to know that I’m seasonally consistent. Writing journals are great, but sometimes a painting is simply greater at catching a feeling.
Sometimes, it’s possible to learn more when I am feeling lost. Then, I have to really look around and try to find my way back, or figure out what to do next. I was lost once when I was a child. It was very scary, but exciting too. Otherwise, I would not remember this. Painting is the same way. Destruction of some of my paper pieces has led me to think about the road forward, the possible reuse of the wonderful paper…..the marks on the paper…transformed by an accident. It’s interesting.
When the road is suddenly unfamiliar, I look up and think…hey, where am I?…..good question!
The painting process requires some rigorous work before the paint brush or the idea arrive in my hand and head. I’m progressing forward to a show in Gladstone, Mo. this winter in the month of December. I was very wrapped up in the paper pieces I did for the “Give Me that Dog” project, so when I returned to larger canvas painting, I’d forgotten how much prep work that can be! This afternoon I’ve stretched one canvas and prepared several pre-stretched canvas so that when the idea comes, the surface will be ready to go! Good ideas are hard to come by and also…to hang on to especially if I have to spend lots of time doing the preparation of a canvas. Even the pre-stretched canvas from Utrecht art supplies require a couple of coats of Gesso before I can begin to paint.