Writing is my frenemy. I really am not a fan. I struggle to write in this space but I realize that it's the writing that has made my year of creative habits what it is. My posts have helped me process my growth. The writing helps me connect with other people online. I don't think I'd feel like I've accomplished much without it.
One of my biggest goals this year is to develop my painting style. I haven't really broken that down into smaller goals because I don't think there's a set formula for it. I think it comes from painting A LOT i.e. quantity. I think it comes from reflecting on and evaluating those paintings along the way. I think it comes from thinking about how I'm feeling as I paint. What feels right for me? What feels intuitive? What do I feel the most passionate about?
I can think about all those questions but if I really want to get somewhere with this, I need to write. I need to put those thoughts into words. First because that helps me process those thoughts. And second because then I can read and remember what I was thinking later.
Here's some reflections about my work lately. Right now I'm least interested in what I think looks good or bad. I'm most interested in how I answer those previous questions: What feels right? What feels intuitive? What do I feel passionate about?
I have loved this Fursday project. I'm so glad that I chose to do it weekly. It's works well for me in that I get to use some of my drawing skills from last year. I'm reminded every week that yes I CAN draw. That's important to me. I also reminded that though I can draw, I don't enjoy painting realistically. I love to be more expressive and abstract and I have the rest of the week to paint that way.
As I look at these two photos, I like the first 'painting' much better. I like the mix of line and shape. It looks unfinished but I prefer it. It feels 'done' to me in that all the problems that I'm interested in solving are solved. The features are in place and in proportion. The color pops. There's movement. There's expression in the eyes. I don't dislike the finished piece. I think it better serves my purpose of the Fursday project. But if I'm answering those questions of what feels right? And what do I feel passionate about? It's the first painting. It's line and shape and movement and expression. It's working out the basic problems and moving on.
Painting with a palette knife also just feels right. When I have a lot on my mind, I really like just pushing paint around with the knife. It feels very intuitive. My problem with it....I hate the way it looks once it's dry. I've considered switching over to oils but I haven't wanted to make that leap yet. Buying a whole new set of supplies doesn't appeal to me right now.
Some of my favorite paintings so far this year are the ones that begin representationally but end before they look 'finished' or that blur the line between representational and abstact like that floral one above. I think that's good for me to remember. I enjoy beginning representationally but not taking it all the way to the end.
I've had a lot of fun recently with layers of gouache/watercolor and exploring negative space. Those ideas interest me for both the process and the meanings I've assigned to them.
I love the flow of the gouache and I like the way it looks once it's dry. Lately I've been trying a broad brush. Making strokes with a wide brush has a similar feel to working with a palette knife. I've noticed that the bumps of canvas bother me and I most enjoy working on wood or heavy paper. And that's where I am today. I'm beginning a large piece on a wood panel using gouache and a broad brush. So far, so good.