I feel like I haven't written/posted much about the process this year. At first I thought "well I don't have much to say about it right now" and then I immediately knew that was because I hadn't sat down and tried to say anything about it. The thoughts aren't clear for me until I take the time to put them into sentences. So here goes...
Lately I've been thinking a lot about composition. I've gotten into a routine of putting my subject in the center and leaving the background to let the woodgrain show. I like the woodgrain and I want to let it show but I'm not exactly making an interesting/exciting composition that way. I've been thinking about ways to build a more interesting composition but also allow some of the wood to peek though.
I continue to study Andy Warhol. (I feel almost ready to move on to the next artist.) I recently sold my portrait of Andy and I felt like making another one. This seemed like a good way to experiment with some ideas for composition. I'm also experimenting with ways to plan my composition. I know from my checklist that I need a solid plan going into my painting. What are some ways to get that plan? I've sketched it out first. I've arranged with collage and then used those basic shapes to guide my painting composition. I've used Photoshop to play around with elements before putting them on the wood. I don't have it figured out yet but today's felt good, like I'm on the right path.
I'm really enjoying Pinterest lately. I think Pinterest gets a bad rap for making people feel inadequate or being a huge time suck. Of course, it's all in how you use it. I'm usually on there for 15 minutes of so. I look through my feed or I search for something in particular. If I'm feeling strongly influenced by a particular pin, I try to figure out what I really like about it and then only borrow that one element, say color, composition, or technique. Even more fun is to choose three pins and then use one element from each to build my own work.
Lately at events, one of the most common questions/comments is about the wood panels that I paint on, like where do I get them and why wood? You can get wood panels at most any professional art supply store. If you've been around here for awhile, you know that I started the year painting on canvas. I've also painted on paper and I even tried aquaboard the other day, though didn't share the results. I've painted with oil, acrylic, watercolor, and gouache. For me, gouache on wood panel feels the best. I like the smoothness of the wood and look of the grain. I like the strong pigment in the gouache and its matte finish. I tell people to try everything that interests them. You never know what will feel right to you. (I thought for sure I was going to be painting in acrylic on canvas all year!)
Of course I'm not 100% happy with it but today's painting feels really interesting to me and makes me excited to paint more. I like the color. It's an interesting change for me that was directly taken from Andy's work. I like that it has a strong graphic look while still looking a bit loose and unfinished. I think that's something that I've been wanting in my work for awhile but I didn't realize it until my trip Crystal Bridges last week and saw the Warhol and Wyeth exhibition. It doesn't feel quite finished in the eyes yet so I have a few more brushstrokes to add. And then perhaps I'd like to put in some text. I think that might be really fun too.
If you've never sat down and written about your work, I definitely recommend it. I'd start with just what about your work do you like? This ends up being a list of things to keep doing. Then what about do you not like? This will be your list of things to avoid or things to research and learn more about so you can make changes. Last, I'd ask what do you wish for your work? These often become more lofty goals that you can slowly work toward such as new materials, taking a class, collaborations, etc.
The beautiful thing about then posting this online is that then you'll feel like you have to work on it. Others will read what direction you want to go and look for you to do that. You'll feel some responsibility to follow through with it. Send me a link to your process ponderings! I'd love to read about your process.