I just had a disappointing yet eye-opening painting experience.
I had an older painting, a 24×36 canvas that quite dissatisfied me. I thought I could remove it from the frame and redo it. It was a group of musicians slightly abstract that was part of a series I had found interesting a while ago. I thought I could make it better.
I proceeded to make some changes in color, then repositioned one of the five figures, and freshened it up. Or so I thought.
The more I painted, though, the more I realized that my creative slump had paralyzed me into seeking comfort in my zone. I wasn’t doing anything new just moving stuff around and hoping for the best. I was moving from series to series and back again for want of something new and inspiring. I was relying on dance, music, animals, sports as I had for years. And now I was returning back to hopefully seeing my music series in a new light.
Trying unsuccessfully to reinvent my brand of wheel. Because they did not excite me anymore.
I know, I know. This time of Covid is still with us though maybe not as terrifying. But I have always had another new “thing” to jump into until now. Nothing has fallen into place as the next evolution of my work.
Don’t mistake what I have said as me disliking my work. On the contrary, my problem is I like my golden oldies too much. New attempts have been merely trying to push my envelop by messing with the painting approach.
- Throwing color on in a different manner
- Changing the color palette
- Playing with edges.
All noble but feeble attempts since nothing can take the place of my feeling excited about what I am painting – not just how. And if I am not excited, why am I painting this?
Sales or prizes used to be good reasons for me. But now I am in search of what is new to me. I know that social, political or covid issues are off my painting table. (Except for one involving women which will require research).
So, this morning I finally threw white paint (I am out of gesso) on the whole canvas.
Looking at photos of the piece I killed I know it was not that bad. And if you saw it you would say, “Why did you do that?”
But I am glad I did.
Now I HAVE TO force myself away from my comfort zone.
The great unknown awaits. Scary!
But hopefully I can open a new door. I do know that I have been relying on old material because it is easy to thumb through another old folder of reference material mostly my old sketches and photos.
Time to get new photos. I am charging up my iPhone and I am ready to attempt to see my universe in a new way.
Wish me luck.