As a painter eyesight is very important. Mine has been troubling me lately. As a result, I will be having cataract surgery today. It is early to need it but then I have been extremely nearsighted all my life.
I remember when I finally got glasses. I could no longer see the writing on the chalk board, even sitting on the front row. The first day I came back to school wearing my new glasses I still was not seeing the chalk board. I was too busy noticing that trees had individual leaves, seeing that birds and insects were actually visible. I am hoping for a similar affect after the surgery.
It is not quite going as I hoped. But I will continue to try seeing what kind of layering I can do that will end up making the areas look like glistening, rough rocks amid wet smooth leaves. I will not allow the fear of failure rule my painting.
Finally, this afternoon, I wandered back up here and picked up a brush. I have worked for an hour and a half now. I need to let an area dry. Now I want to know how it will turn out. I am trying something new, not radical but still an experiment.
I had been on a trip, a very nice one. But I have been back for over a week. I have still yet to take up my brush and apply paint. I come up, look at the painting, and just cannot overcome my fear that I will not be able to pick up where I left off. I did clean off the old acrylic paint on my palette this morning. Then found myself leaving.
I have been reading ‘STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST” by Austin Kleon. I identified with his statement near the end of the book concerning routines.
“Inertia is the death of creativity. You have to stay in the grove. When you get out of the groove, you start to dread the work, because you know it’s going to suck for a while- it’s going to suck until you get back into the flow.”
That is so true for me.
Boy I hate it when one layer of my painting looks so good I fear adding other layers in case it will ruin the work I have already done, meanwhile knowing what I have done may be pretty but does not fit with the rest of the painting. I suddenly find chores I need to do that have nothing to do with art. Alright, I need to accept this part may not work and just experiment. Sometime I find it did work and other times that it did not. And just maybe my new attempt works even better. In my painting Early Fall #5 I found that the middle leaf came together only after leaving it to the last. I had tried a number of times but none of the attempts worked. At the end I had no other options but to paint it. Once I quit worrying it worked out even better than I had planned. In this case I liked the leather look the paint came up with
Finally sun again. My studio catches lots of natural light. But with all the cloudy weather we had been having, I needed to turn on lights. They just do not reflect the color the same. I find I change my color combinations with natural light compared to electric lights. Though, that can make the painting more interesting, I prefer natural light. I should not complain. When I first moved to Nashville I worked in a warehouse without any natural light, no heat and no air conditioning. During the summer my paint would dry too fast to mix color on the palate and, have it stay liquid while I applied the color. During the winter my fingers were so cold it made holding the brush difficult. I shared the warehouse with some interesting people, which did much to offset the lack of heat and air. The sun shining into my studio after the days of very little light makes the studio and me much more cheerful.
I read an Op. Ed piece in the Nashville newspaper not too long ago. The writer was concerned with the method that Tennessee had been electing appellate court judges. He felt that having a committee of informed lawyers and lay people reviewing the first year or so of the appointed judge’s service via interviews and reviewing the cases, followed by making public the result – including an approval/disapproval recommendation, was not giving the voters a fair chance of electing a judge. Personally I would find it very hard to know who would make a good impartial judge. I do not follow trials; I do not know the law. On the other hand, I find it very helpful to be informed by an impartial, knowledgeable committee. To me, this keeps judges honest. Indeed, I would like it very much if we had such a rating/review system for those who run for lower court judgeships. In nearby West Virginia, appellate court judges have to run a full campaign. Not surprisingly, the results have been judges who are swayed, not by law but by the companies and supporters that fund their campaigns. To the extent possible government, especially those who interpret the law should be a meritocracy; I find it hard to believe anyone does not want this for Tennessee.
I went to the Frist Art Center yesterday in Nashville, TN. The 2 exhibits the Frist have currently, Norman Rockwell and 30 Americans, work well together. I am only sorry I did not have as much time as I wished to peruse the 30 Americans. A lot of the work in that exhibit needed much more contemplation time. One that struck me immediately as working well with the Norman Rockwell exhibit was a Duchamp type piece. An old carpet, from the artist’s grandmother’s home, was hung on the wall. Others were centered more obviously on race than most of Norman Rockwell’s mainstream art. I also enjoyed many of the works on a pure visual level, the colors and the textures. Rockwell uses humor more than could be seen in the 30 Americans, plus it is much easier to see Rockwell’s intent. I recommend a visit to the Frist.