($40.00......6" x 6".....Water Soluble Oils on Gessobord)
The images all around us provide the most logical places to hang our hat (at least most of the time) because we see them in real time on a daily basis. When I came back from North Carolina, I looked at the Texas landscape and thought it was utterly boring...until I started painting it. The neutrals we have here in Central Texas are fascinating and provide a very warm feeling for the viewer. We don't have high mountains, but the hill country really is beautiful with streams of water and large bluffs. So after painting of few things around here, I have been pleasantly surprised to view these paintings as my personal favorites.
And this reminds me of an important analogy. Just because something is familiar doesn't mean we know that particular thing as well as we could. This is the perfect time...at the close of another year...to think about going back to the basics. That's what I have done in the last several months. I've known how to mix paint for a long time, but I have learned so much more by setting up my palette the same way every single day and mixing the same double palette with a warm and cool of each primary.
Every day can become a "grind" unless you decide to learn something everyday by focusing more intently on how you mix colors and how close you can get with the right hue, value, and intensity. There is nothing quite so efficient in clarifying a process like doing it every single day. It may not seem like missing days affects the flow of the work, but it does.
My own personal goal for this next year is to paint larger and more abstractly with the inclusion of more gestural marks and lettering. So now that I have defined my goal in very specific terms, the only thing left to do is to develop the strategy that will get me where I want to go. By sharing my thought process with those of you who like to read them, I hope it will inspire you to also write down your goals very specifically and then develop your strategy. It is absolutely necessary to choose the time(s) of the day that works best for you with as few interruptions as possible.
Even if you work full time outside of the home, you can have a specific place (otherwise known as a studio) where you spend at least (30) minutes a day on a specific technique or way of working. If you want to work in a specific way and don't know where to start, then go find the person who does know how and see if they will teach you. It's the only way to move yourself forward. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.
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