I've now been back in Oregon for nearly two weeks after adventures first in Taos and then in Hawaii. I'm disappointed in myself. I should be back in my studio letting paint fly exploring my new found penchant for patterns.
Instead I've found many diversions and ways to avoid getting back to work. And work it is. I think many people assume artists have an ongoing passion that is a bottomless pit of inspiration and motivation. That may be true for some, but for me the passion is interspersed with fear of failure, indecision, and other character flaws that keep me from putting brush to paper.
To help myself move forward, I decided to look at and analyze the two versions of two paintings inspired by my trip to Italy.
Umbrellas before and during Taos workshop.
As I look at these two paintings, I see that I was stuck with a composition, not allowing myself to try rearranging things in the second version. Of course, that wasn't the point. My task was to explore the painting with the creation of patterns in mind. I also freed myself up to painting in a flat more contemporary way.
What I enjoy about the second piece is that it seems less stiff to me. It has a more playful and joyous feel. The colors are more vibrant, as I was painting with lots of pigment. I really love the plaza and the repeat of the round shapes from the plaza to the trees to the umbrellas. And confetti effect says celebration.
Now a look at the Man with Wine, before and during Taos workshop.
Looking at these two paintings, I see them as making the same statement in very different ways. The thought here is Alone. The first painting is so much more tied to realism, though painted loosely. You see the sun-drenched face and shirt, the dark shadows and a realistic wine glass w/wine. In that regard, this is a successful painting, but safe.
The second painting is kind of wild in the regard of vibrant colors and patterns everywhere. I was playing with taking the live plants and flowers into the background umbrella fabric, so you can't really tell where one ends and the other begins. Believe it or not it takes boldness to paint a wine glass by pure line with no illusions of reality. I used more lines to make leaves and the table in the back. The man is now much more a part of a picture and not necessarily the thing your eye lingers on. He is still alone with his wine, however. So this is a painting where I diverge from being safe to having more fun with just making stuff. All that just came out of my brain and out through the brush. It took courage.
I do think this little exploration of the paintings has been helpful to me. By putting my experiences into words, I'm more focused on the direction I'm going in my next painting.
I'd love to get responses to this blog. It's odd to put myself out there like this. Who's even reading this stuff?
By the way, my digital camera went into the drink and is on the way to a repair shop, so it will be a while before I'll have new photos to add to my blog.