The middle man of the painting "Pond" is basically complete. Today I work on the man on the left. If I do get to "near completion" with all figures today I will post a photo of the current state of "Pond" tomorrow morning. Here is the one drawing made yesterday:
No image of the painting "Pond" to post. But it is in progress and has changed for the better. The details are finishing and I hope to show you a final painting by the end of this week.
The drawings being made are practice for the final detail work on "Pond." You may not see this because it is the approach to solving details within the larger whole that I am practicing. Here are the drawings made yesterday:
The painting "Pond" moves toward conclusion via daily work. At this point every day I am going to what feels like a routine job. However, a repetitive task is not required. I am working to makes the figures in "Pond" ring true. Each figure is different, so repetition is impossible. But the feeling is there: it does not feel wonderfully creative, but slavishly necessary. And I have to stay alert; in the presence of the forms being created I am a slave to necessity.
So you see, this is not my favorite part of being an artist. Instead of complaining I need to show up and do my duty. Being a romantic, I enjoy the thrill of the "start-up." To keep this in my daily life I draw every day, inventing from scratch and finishing daily inventions as well. Here is my drawing for the day:
You probably noticed, most of my posts come the morning after. This works for me. It gives me the night to mull over the events in the studio. When I write the next morning I know what I write.
Yesterday's studio time was dominated by my working on the head and torso of the middle man in the painting "Pond." It is almost there, but I realized this detail work is not speedy. The head contains so many details who successful completion can make or break a painting. I've got the stuff do it right (that is what the thousands of practice drawings has given me). It is the discipline to finish it off well which I must accept. This is why "Pond" has taken such an incredible amount of time to complete. I know more than I have ever given a painting before. This painting represents a summation of my knowledge. I will not let go till it is completed correctly. (This has been a little pep talk to myself.)
Today I will finish the middle man and then move to the guy on the left. Also, there is the woman on the right. She needs refinement, but not much (since she lacks half a head). So the woman requires more body tone, and that's easy work.
Here's the drawing from yesterday. It is a good one.
I was on Wells Beach in Maine, for what may have been the last warm beach day of this year (for this part of the country). Yesterday I returned to the studio and worked on the painting "Pond." I also made two drawings. The details of "Pond" are now in process. Mostly I worked on the middle figure's head and upper torso. I am very involved in getting his facial expression right, which will connect him to his world. I will work more on "Pond" today and will post a new version soon.
As to the drawings: I am finding they are enhancing my ability to feel the correctness of the details of the figure in "Pond." Today's second drawing was about practice on details, and I believe it to be an excellent drawing in itself. The first drawing is a study for an upcoming painting. Here they are...
I have complained about the difficulty of reproducing art via photography. Check out the drawings posted in the previous post (09/24/2010). This morning I increased their contrast using Photoshop and re-posted them. They look better and are closer to the originals. When first posted these drawing appeared as if they were on grey paper. They are on white paper.
Yesterday ran away from me. I made one drawing in the morning. Mid-day was dominated by stuff that needed to get done: odds and ends that are good for living but distractions to making art. However, making my life work well allows me to make my art without major life disturbances. Around 5 pm I got back into the studio and made drawing #2. Here are the drawings:
Yes, all was normal in the studio. I had purpose and I went right to it. The painting "Pond" moved toward its natural completion and the warm-up drawing came easily.
One comment on reproduction: "Pond" is not photographically reproducing exactly as it appears in the studio. This discrepancy seems to be increasing as "Ponds" complexity increases, mostly because of the subtlety of its color gradations. I tried to use some Photoshop tricks to bend it into proper reproduction (filters, color balancing) but failed. There is also some surface reflection (I use polarizing filters and soft light) that I did not eliminate. My goal here is to keep you informed on its progress. When complete I will put great effort into properly reproducing it. However, this problem addresses the impossibility of properly seeing a hand made painting via reproduction. You must see it in person.
Here is the warm-up drawing of the day:
One thing I have not written about here is the complexity of emotions when art making. It is about time I did this. I have written about intuition, but emotional activity in the studio is vastly different. Intuition helps me make confusing decisions, while emotions ride me internally as separate entities altogether. Yesterday began with me feeling confused. I made a couple of drawings, which I will post, which are not my best. These drawings look like notes to myself, as I tried to sort out a direction for the day. These drawings did not clarify much. The first one began because I was unhappy with the left foot on the drawing of the running nude posted yesterday. The foreshortening of her left leg, with the foot at the end, bothered me, so I revisited the problem. The second drawing posted today is one of my warm up drawings, me looking for ground to stand upon before entering the true work of the day, the painting "Pond." Neither of these drawings helpe me much to prepare for painting. At this point I felt uneasy with some despair (because I was unsure of the direction to take as I began to paint). Standing in front of "Pond" I mostly felt discomfort with the flesh tones of the two male figures. I needed to complete their atmospheric coherency (with the light in the painting). So I began there, a brush loaded with a mixture of Cadmium Red Light, Phthalo Blue, and Titanium White. And then it happened. During the first hour of painting the discomfort began to be replaced with purpose. The two male figures suddenly began to take on emotional interaction, between me and them, and between themselves. This is where the painting truly began to be mine. To sum, I entered the studio in great discomfort and confusion (the drawings show this) and ended the day with feeling energized with reason and purpose. The beginning of the day made me ask, "Why the hell am doing this?" and the end of the day made me realize the satisfaction in making art is the self awareness created while making art.
I do not have a photo of the latest version of "Pond." That will be posted tomorrow. But here are the two drawings...
In yesterday's post I wrote about my intuition being the director of my daily work in the studio. Yesterday I entered the studio intending to forge ahead on the painting "Pond," but I was intuitively unable to work on it. Today will be different. I know I will work on "Pond." I will not rush to complete this painting, as the process of making "Pond" is so very important to my future work as a painter. I am impatient with it, but I know every bit of technique and knowledge obtained by making "Pond" is arsenal I will be able to draw upon as I make the paintings which will follow.
Here are the drawings from yesterday's time in the studio:
It was not my fault. Weebly.com went down for about 36 hours. In any case, here I am. It was the weekend and I did other things besides art. It is getting cooler here. This coming Thursday is the Autumnal Equinox. I was stacking wood for winter, but that's not all. Also I simply enjoyed the nearly perfect weather by being outside. I did make two drawings, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. You'll have to check yesterday's post to see Saturday's drawing (weebly.com allowed me to post despite no one being able to see the blog after posting). Also, you may have missed the latest version of "Pond," as it was also posted during the weebly.com black out (go back to 09/18/2010).
In earlier posts I remember writing of the unusual length of time it took me to complete a drawing (up to 4 hours for these relative small daily drawings of 9 X 12 inches). Recently the time to complete a drawing has become a bit less. The drawings of yesterday and today were probably closer to 2 hours of work. But their technique is different from the 4 hour drawings in their shift to more linear compostions. These drawings are not so atmospheric. This is interesting as these drawings do not jive with what is occuring in the closing days on the painting "Pond." As I wrestle "Pond" into coherent athmospheric color coodination my drawings have shifted to more interest in line. I have always worked intuitively, never intellectually dictating upon myself a required approach. This makes every day in the studio somewhat of a surprise. My biggest fear is my production becoming habitual, repetitive, redundant. That has not happened, which demonstrates the immense amount of unexplored territory rattling around inside me. Here's the drawing for the day...
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