I have never been an optimistic person. In grade school, learning vocabulary, the teacher asked us if we were optimists or pessimists. A girl I had eyes for said, “Oh, we are both optimists.” She was a bit smarter than I was, but as she explained the difference, I knew she was horribly mistaken.
For some odd reason, I am filled with an unrealistic optimism for the new year. I am making my living painting, it’s not easy. My days are only getting shorter, never mind. I have a vision for my work, mastery of my materials. For the first time in my life I know my greatest work is ahead. I am excited to make it.
Once again I find myself obsessed with clouds and skies. This painting kept changing and restarting. I probably destroyed 2 perfectly good works before finding my way here. Unusual colors and lighting won me over in the end!
This painting is on the bubble for me. It has a lot of the force and intrigue I enjoy but is that enough? I will catch it out of the corner of my eye when I am working and it draws my attention… is that enough? It has some beautiful color, blending, texture, shape and motion… enough?
I am forever running out of painting surfaces. Now when I finish a painting I set it aside in the studio rather than varnishing it. I let a little time and distance come between me and the painting and see how it stacks up against other works I am making. Then when there are too many paintings and not enough new boards I spend a morning removing paint from the ones that fall short.
This has become part of my process. I am increasingly comfortable destroying to create. Nothing is sacred.
Still not sure if I will keep it but it is intriguing so I will put it aside and let it breathe.
This is another painting inspired by mist and morning light.
I have been painting a lot of work this size lately. It has enough surface area to have a bit of freedom. I am going to start treating this as my minimum size. I have a lot of prepped 16″x20″, 18″x24″ and 20″x24″ panels I am excited to dive into next.
I have painted some small campfire paintings with the intention of eventually working on larger ones. Currently the largest boards I have prepped are 11″x14″ so I decided to paint some at that size. Just large enough to give me more freedom of movement! I sold this one before I posted it on Instagram. The woman who purchased it saw it on my “story” which is a video limited to 24 hours. She lives in Kuwait, excited to be sending work to a country I have not mailed to previously!
Two 11″x14″ paintings I wrapped up last night… well aside from varnishing, signing, framing 😳. They really look good together as an accidental diptych!
I often work two or three paintings of similar subject at a time. It keeps my focus narrowed and my paints can be shared between multiple paintings. I frequently make interesting discoveries and small creative jumps with this approach!