And work on taxes is also to blame and so is taking care of my family…you all know what I’m talking about. I just didn’t get to my desk to move photos around and write.
Last week, camera in hand, time to snap some working shots in my studio…a progress report of sorts. These are not perfect photos…just pieces on my easel and drawing table, to give you an idea of what’s going on…some of my process. Many are finished paintings and a couple are in progress. My Namibian Portfolio project is nearing completion! I will keep you posted…soon.
Through the haze and muck and glory of each “everyday” ~ somehow I keep moving forward. Hours spent at the computer – developing – cropping – forming compositions from my photographs of Namibia. Next stop…my drawing table…moving from my chair to standing…back and forth, I open my journal and pull elements from my travel sketches. Laying on my table are some soft pencils (#4B and #6B), for dark lines and shapes…some hard pencils (H and HB) for lighter lines and shapes, I draw…compose, delete and add.
Erase…brush the filings on the floor, lay down a better line or shape. Trying to make the strongest composition for my next painting.
Decisions ~ which drawing on which size panel?…which image on a gray-primed panel…or would it work better over a red-orange under painting? I begin laying down thin base layers of paint. Thin, so that I can see some of the color underneath…thinking about the vibrations of warm and cool colors…lighter – darker, brighter – grayer…
Thinking ahead ~ to try to reach the high-keyed light of Etosha National Park...an almost constant shimmering effect. Thinking about how to create the hazy, other-worldly light and color at the great dunes of Sossusvlei. As I put the paint on, my “thinking” changes ~ it becomes part response ~ reaction ~ to that last bit of color or brushstroke. How do those colors “feel” together? A warm tone next to a cool one, creates a “pop.” More contrast is introduced this way…as well or better than, merely adding light (white) or dark.
Thinking about my next move – it blurs with response…emotion…then pure action. “Okay, not quite what I was expecting, but I’ll go with it.” And so, even with sketches, studies and plans; all of which build the important foundation for a strong piece, each painting takes on a life of its own. Not to make more of it than it is…(though some days it feels like climbing mountains) ~ it is a pushing through ~ conscious and less conscious actions. Believing that the colors, brushstrokes and “decisions” will work to take me to “that place”…the light quality I’m after…that stirring of my senses ~ creating a bridge between my emotion and my experience.
It’s not formulaic or prescriptive…this thinking about how to paint a painting…though there is some method to what can feel like madness. Maybe that’s it…the actions finally come from the sensations and evoke the emotions I’m trying to reach. The interpretation of my experience through painting.
Listening to things like Pat Metheny’s Are You Going With Me? help with the “pushing through.” An amazing road trip song.
If you are interested in my work, let me know. Thanks for looking and reading.
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