Thursday, August 19, 2004

Yesterday's studio session was the longest I've had there in a few weeks. I was there for almost 9 hours. My recent sessions have been shorter by five hours or so. Things went pretty ok. I re-worked two small canvases that turned out much better than in their previous incarnations. I'm experimenting with my works on paper but not getting anywhere yet. I need to experiment with my painting techniques a bit more, as well.

I really need to move forward with buying some wood or other hard surface material to paint on. Stretched canvas is great but I need a less flexible surface to pursue some of the work I want to do. I live right down the street from a lumber yard and have been very lazy about picking up some stuff and having them cut it down for me. Gottta get on it! Having ideas is great, but they don't do me any good if I don't do anything with them.

Speaking of ideas, here is what's been floating around my noggin for a while in various forms:

Developing a new, solid body of large and small-scale paintings. Adopting a layering technique which incorporates both solid and transparent forms in the paintings. Currently, I default to an opaque layering ideal most of the time. This isn't a bad thing, but I've found it a bit limiting as of late. Looking back at the work I produced for the exhibition this past February, the more successful pieces had some of both techniques. There is also the scale issue; how large do I want to go with the work? Currently, my largest paintings are 48" square and, lately, 36"x60" rectangular canvases. These are sizes which feel comfortable and are easy to store, ship and carry. I do want to expand the size a little but not by much.

I've been struggling with the works on paper lately. I like my drawings, etc... to stand on their own, not merely as sketches for paintings. Sometimes I use them for that purpose, but I also do things on paper that a similarity to the paintings but will never translate as paintings and aren't meant to. So, what's the issue? Well, I think it has to do with some internal need to have the works on paper directly correlate to what I'm doing on canvas. When I work on paper, I like to work with different materials than I do on canvas. This has been very beneficial as the differences in materials , oil stick and graphite on paper, gouache on paper as opposed to acrylics on canvas, force me to deal with images and ideas in completely new ways. The work on paper has taken on a life of it's own, separate from what I do on canvas which sometimes causes some conflict. The important thing, though, is that I'm working to figure it all out, with the end result being a body of work that I'm proud of.

Then there are the installation ideas which incorporate rope and hardware. The sculpture ideas using wood and hardware. The prints I want to do and it goes on and on and on...

This is why I've been feeling the sqeeze of having a job and concentrating on my artwork. Even though my job schedule allows for an abundance of studio time, it's getting hard to accomplish all that I want to do. I could just concentrate on painting,which is really what I do already, but that's not all that I am. On top of that, painting alone can't accomodate all of the ideas I have, so I need to spread them out into other areas. I can accomplish a lot with the time I have, I just need to be a little more efficient with how I use it. This just means that I may have to concentrate on one or two things for a while, then switch materials and pursue something else for a time. That's the only way I'm going to get anywhere near accomplishing all that I'd like to do while maintaining a steady paycheck. There is still the goal of being a self-sufficient artist, but until then, I guess it'll be a juggling act, with painting as the main thing I work on. Whatever, as long as I can keep working...

There is always the possibility of coming up with a project which incorporates painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking...

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