WIP Wednesday: Session 2 Floral Floundering

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I mean it’s going okay, not great, but not terrible. I have been working on the pink roses and rediscovering all the old problems that made me quit working on it in the first place. One thing I realize I’m doing is I’m treating the under-painting too preciously, so I drenched it in paint. It’s an experiment anyway so why not push it. I added the cool blues and greens like I wanted and I am enjoying the effect, but when it gets more tacky I’m going to need to address the flowers (again).

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While that dries some I’m going to work on these sunflowers.

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I drew an outline, prepped a canvas with more gesso, and sanded it smooth. I never tried smoothing a primed canvas before, probably out of laziness, so I’ll see how it goes. I need to trace it to the surface today, and I’m thinking about how I want to lay down color and the underpainting. From working on the roses I’m realizing I really am lacking in the planning and development part of my painting.

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Planning isn’t the thing I need to work on, I need to refine my set up as well. I don’t feel like I have enough space to mix colors and I don’t like my paint storage system. With every step forward I see how much more I need to learn and do. I have a few ideas I’m trying out and some plans for arranging the space better as well. I will let you know as I tackle it!

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WIP Wednesday

Happy Fourth! I thought I would try a thing. I’ve noticed the balance of art posts to home posts seems a bit tipped towards home things and not art things. Part of the reason for me keeping a blog – and screaming into the internet void – was to give myself some art-making accountability. WIP (Work In Progress) Wednesday will be a brief update on what I’m currently tackling in whatever stage it is in, maybe even if it’s still just an idea or a reference photo. We’ll see. Lets try it out shall we?

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I started this painting in 2012 and never touched it since. Its a personal piece and is a bit laden with emotional baggage. I love the drips and loose rendering of each flower and the punch of pink color. What I don’t love is the sienna and umber I started to bring in. I didn’t really have a strategy for this piece when I started and it felt empty without some other colors and that is what I chose.

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Since its not for sale or show I feel more at ease to experiment with it and I would like it to end up in my office (sewing room, framing room, not paint room – it’s still a working title). I’m going to try to incorporate some light blues and mints to cover the brown, and also add some deep navy and maybe dark purple to the very dark parts. I think the addition of cooler tones with help pop the neon pink even better. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Upon Further Inspection

It’s been nearly a month and I have finally started a drawing. I have also cleaned the entire house we rent.

The Den of Leaves

Dining Room Overview

I know I’ve discussed my tendency to use home maintenance as a distraction from my art problems but in this case it was a necessary priority as our leasing company set up a mandatory house inspection. Per the memo, we were to have the property cleaned up, “like you were inviting people for a barbecue ,” so in less than a week we decorated, cleaned, organized, shoved stuff into boxes, and shoved those boxes into closets. All of this literally just in time for the inspection, which turned out to be maybe 15 minutes of someone walking around taking pictures of the property.

Then we threw a party.

The Den of Leaves 2018

DJ Bambi

This has been our first year of cohabitation and we’ve never quite felt settled since our move but now, thanks to surprise inspection, we were finally ready to have our first house warming party. It was a low key get together with a mix of our friends from different parts of our life all of whom seemed to have a pretty great time. I loved making tasty dishes and showing off the space we’ve curated for ourselves.

Den of Leaves

Our den, with a view of our salon style wall of art.

Decorating and arranging are definitely my favorite forms of self expression and it’s always nice to find a way to exercise that creative energy. I’m not 100% certain how it fits in with my art/career but I feel strongly that it will one day. It’s telling that when I’m faced with less than a week to put our entire home in order my approach is to start by decorating: framing and hanging art that has been sitting around forever and tackling several improvement/furniture building projects. Only after that will I finally get around to shoving the rest of our stuff into boxes and then shoving those boxes into closets. It’s not the most practical method – certainly not the most logical – but everything came together beautifully.

Den of Leaves

Mantle detail close up.

I am still figuring out how and what I want to create as an artist. Oddly enough, cleaning house has actually started something for me (and my mental well being) and my studio is one of the rooms that most benefited from the overhaul. I switched up the layout and finally got around to cleaning my palettes and brushes. Now there are fewer hurdles  between me and actually getting started on a piece (not just figurative, but the literal piles of stuff we were trying to sidestep). Being able to spend time in my studio has affected the way I think about making; now I can concentrate on ideas instead of what tasks I must accomplish to get set up. I’m still continuing to tweak bits in the studio but I’m also working on sketches and planning (art) projects. I finally taken the next step and it feels great to be moving forward.

Den of Leaves

View from the den into my studio space.