I can tell that I'm really coming out of my artistic 'down time'. At work, I have moments where I can relax for a bit between customer calls, employee needs, and figuring out how to deal with whatever has broken this time. I had one some time today, outside of lunch, where I was able to grab my sketchbook out of my bag and doodle a bit. I did a few thumbnail sketches of possible compositional ideas in square and rectangular formats. That's what I do in my sketchbooks for the most part. I also write in them, but for the most part, page after page is filled with squares and rectangles full of off-the-cuff painting ideas. So, today's little five minute sketch session was accompanied by a mental, "Yeah, I'm ready to work again".
I was in the office at one of the desks that all the managers share. I plopped down into the gray, cushioned chair that's been darkened by years of use. I took my sketchbook out of the bag and glanced at the last day I'd done anything in it. The date in the upper left-hand corner read: 9.20.05. That's just over two months ago and during the last week of my show. That was the day that I decided to jot down any ideas I had for a possible series of paintings. To the left of the date was this: A SERIES OF PREDOMINANTLY GREEN PAINTINGS. I tend to use all upper-case lettering when I write with a sharpie(ultra-fine point). If I try to write in cursive long-hand with them, it just looks like a mess and I sometimes have a hard time deciphering what I just wrote) Note: See this entry for earlier discussion of this idea
I also made a list to go along with the 'green paintings' sentence. I wrote down all of the words that came to me within a few minutes that have some association with the word 'green':
There was a second column, but this illustrates the idea well enough.
I'd been thinking about a 'green' project for a while before committing this list to paper. A few of the paintings that I'd worked on for the September show had various greens worked into the final images. I gained an affinity for the greens I'd mixed and thought that it would be interesting to try making near monochromatic paintings based around 'green'. I'm still considering it and as soon as I pick up more supplies, I'll get to work on it. If it doesn't work out, I'll just move on to the next idea I have. Oh, yes, there are more...
I think I like the color so much because it reminds me of life and growth. I'm surrounded by plants in my living space and, despite being a hard-core city person, I love the outdoors; forests, hiking, trees, grass, all of it. I can continue to explore the loose grid imagery I've been working on over the past year and I can work on some more minimal pieces as well. Now that I have a basic theme, I can dive into painting and have something to challenge myself with again.