Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Underpainting on the easel today

Underpainting for something
acrylic on board
24" x 24"

I am posting the photo of what is on my easel, even though it is just a start, just an underpainting. Maybe it will be interesting to see how it develops.You may want to skip the rest of  today's blog. You've been warned. If you continue, prepare to be bored. This painting and this blog post is for me and might not be a so very interesting rambling.

I have a restlessness going on inside that I can't explain, and it is not new. I enjoy painting the little birds, and pears, and still lifes, and portraits. I enjoy it - but it feels empty and kind of meaningless to an extent. The abstracts have much more substance for me actually. But they are so darn HARD to do and I can never tell if they are good or not. I can't judge them like I can the traditional "realistic" stuff. I mean a pear looks like a pear, a bird like a bird and if you don't get it right - it's obvious to anyone. How do I know if I don't get an abstract right? Blah, blah, blah. Ok, now I am boring myself.

I found myself flipping through books and magazines - looking at painting techniques and styles for the umpteenth time. I know I had an idea in my head and I wasn't seeing it or finding it anywhere I looked. Is that looking outside of myself for inspiration? maybe that is the issue. But as usual, the idea I had in my head, the image that was floating around in my head, was vague and ethereal. It is always like trying to catch smoke. I know it's there, it's real and yet unattainable. And like smoke, when I go after it, it shifts and changes and slips just out of reach, reforming, eventually dissipating.  Out of frustration I decided to just go paint - just start and see what happens. I knew I had some photos of the orange flowers that I loved and that was as good as anything for now. And I knew I wanted to do something larger. I started by drawing with charcoal thinking I would try to preserve some of the drawing and then the next thing I knew everything was covered up with paint. I used acrylic as I didn't have a lot of time and I knew it was just a start. My intention is to finish in oil - but we will see. Now the idea has dissipated again, and I am not sure where to go next. I have ideas - but I am not sure which one to go with, and they are all vague anyway. I guess it will just happen.
One thing I learned from Bob Burridge is to write down my intentions, composition and color scheme etc right at the start so this doesn't happen. But how do I write down smoke? Once again - a struggle of passion and substance - or the lack thereof maybe...with a touch of ADHD mixed in for good measure. I want thick juicy paint with a good amount of texture, rich, intense bright color. More abstract than representational. Directional, dramatic light and shadow. Interesting line work.  Something to shoot for tomorrow. I am also eager to get back to the Joyful project - maybe I can work on both tomorrow. Maybe....

Have you visited me here?

I May Not Be A Genius, But...
Nathalie Davis web site
Nathalie S Davis Blog

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