You should know that anyone who has seen my work in recent years will not, I think, recognize this as mine. I’ve been painting blossoms, and occasionally cats. This is neither of those! For me, though, it is very MUCH mine. And very much the product of a chain of thoughts I have been entertaining since the workshop at Kanuga with Mike Bailey.
The painting in my last post was my first post-Bailey project. As it neared completion I found myself satisfied with it, for how I managed to keep a mood, used design principles, and even included content and narrative. But at the same time I knew it was not feeling like MY work. I spent a lot of time thinking about that as I painted, and as I slept (or didn’t sleep), trying to understand what it was missing, why it didn’t “make my heart sing”. My good artist friend Pat has used that term more than once during our group critiques, and I know that when I’ve made her heart sing, it’s one of my GOOD paintings, and when I haven’t, it’s not a keeper.
I realized, looking at recent (pre-Bailey) paintings around my studio that DID break into song, that this one was missing components that are important to me. High contrast. Dramatic colors. Interesting shapes that fill the page. Patterns. The more I thought about this, the more I decided that these things were a constant in ALL of my own paintings that I like the most. In fact, I decided, it was time that I realized that they were not my style, they were my subject matter – or should be. Not flowers or botanicals. Not anything else. Dramatic Color, Contrast, Shape and Pattern.
So, I stretched some paper and started out to paint my new (old) subject matter. And this was the result. What it will lead to is still to be determined. A second attempt is already in progress, and a third idea already sketched. And, when I look from this new painting to my recent floral paintings, it is indeed from the hand of the same artist. Compare it to these - to me they absolutely relate to the one above:
I’m very excited. Feels like I’m changing my whole relationship to my art.