Monday, June 22, 2020

The Progressions of a Painting

While I know that abstraction is not everyone's cup of tea it is how I tend to express myself in paint.  Some people say "my six year old could have done that"  or other rude comments. (Yes they will say it to an artist's face.)   Some artists quit,  some never show their work.  But work they do.
The week-long course I am taking is about finding your own artistic voice.  Much like singing, we have the voice that is in us. We can train it, but ultimately it is still "who we are."  When we paint from "who we are" the work is more fun than frustration.  But it is work, so there are still frustrating moments.

One assignment was a challenge to really "let go!"  We were told to purposely paint an ugly painting.
My apologies to your eyes. (although one person told me that she liked it.)

The following day, we were told to take a "failed painting" and paint over it leaving some parts showing through.   Super easy choice, this one gets painted over.  The layers of paint actually add to the texture and can peek through into the final painting if you don't really layer more over it.

At one point this became even uglier as it was a lot of gray with bits of color showing through. I wish I had a photo of that to show you.

As I started adding some black and other colors, I started seeing an image of a female.
You may or may not see her in this version, although I had already added a few lines to enhance the shapes.

I rotated the watercolor paper and  started seriously working to see what I could pull from this gray soup of a painting.
I finally got to here and posted it in the group.
I was starting to like it more and more.   Still it wasn't exactly where I felt it needed to be.  That black glob under her neck looks like a goiter.   The colors needed some variety and strengthening.

Another session at the table standing over this brought about the current (and maybe final) version of the painting.  After it dried, I placed a mat around it to see if it might be finished.

Yes, the colors are stronger, the goiter has simply turned into a background shadow.  It looks raw and visceral, but I don't think I want to change a thing.
Could you have imagined this transformation?   I couldn't when I started painting on the "ugly painting."  I just wanted to cover some areas and tone it down leaving it totally abstract. But, when things happen as you are painting, it is wise to respond to them and follow the muse.

So there you go, the evolution of a painting.

There was a song some years ago by a storyteller type songwriter.  It speaks to art and having your own voice. It also speaks to the possibility that it can be squashed if one is not strong.

I am thankful that I didn't let the elementary teacher squash my love of art.  But I still remember how she told me "That is not what the sky looks like."   Being a polite child, I said "Yes Ma'am."  So I "followed the rules" in her class, but at home I did it just like I wanted to do it.

Remind your children and grandchildren (and yourself if necessary) that all of the colors in the rainbow are beautiful.  (by the way, Chapin wrote and extra verse after this recording:
But there still must be a way to have our children say:
There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower
And I see every one."


Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


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6 comments:

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

WOW - What an evolution - I wouldn't change a thing, either! And that song is AWESOME! - I'm glad you didn't listen to your art teacher - because neither did I - LOL. I have probably told you before that I remember being told in 6th grade that BLUE and GREEN don't go together - as I looked down at one of my favorite dresses - a GREEN and BLUE plaid - and smiling - thinking this "art" teacher didn't have a clue - ;))

Barbara said...

What fun! I struggled and didn’t see a female at that point, but rotation did it! I couldn’t unsee the female beyond that point. Wonderful exercise and a fabulous result!

Frog Quilter said...

Gene, keep going with you creative talents. Painting agrees with you.

piecefulwendy said...

This is just amazing, Gene. It sounds like a very fun class. I took an art class in college; I was the only non-art major in the class. We were working on print making. One day, while showing our pieces to the class, my piece was highly criticized by the other students. I dropped the class, and regret it to this day. My prof even asked me to come back, but I didn't. I've regretted it to this day. So just play, have fun, do what moves you. No regrets.

diane said...

Enjoy what you're creating. It all makes sense when you include the art class and instructions, but even so I still really like your creatiness. It's good for the soul. We all need to be doing what makes us happy and forget about the art teachers who didn't inspire us. It's a good thing we can think for ourselves!! Keep sharing I enjoy........

Kathleen said...

That is such the change from the beginning. Great job on it. I think I would have given up, but you persisted.