Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stained Glass Forest

Another new abstract.  I've been in a huge rut of frustration with painting recently, of the, what's-the-point, skill-less hack variety, and so this painting was a struggle.

It started out as a blank canvas with a light blue base last week in class. Demoralized by a particularly unsuccessful portrait attempt the previous week, I had opted for working on a relaxing abstract.

The painting turned into a swirl of motion, but with nothing appealing or cohesive, a mish-mash of energy and unfortunate colors. Some days it just doesn't come together. I went home when I realized my mother gave me most of my paints, and I would no longer be receiving the fancy paints from Mom on Christmas and my birthday.

On the way out of class, I accidentally-on-purpose dropped the painting in a puddle and then swished it around a bit, with the idea that either drip art would make it better, or dirt would add texture, or really, anything would be an improvement.  But the paint mostly just stuck there, still lifeless and now under a sheen of dirty water.

Once I got it home, I took the sink sprayer to it.  God love good water pressure.  Sections of it peeled up, others flaked away. Amazingly, that actually made it somewhat better.

I put it aside and ignored it for another week.  This week, I dragged it back into class, and started layering in the lined framework,and washes of color over places that were flaked back down to white canvas, and otherwise rearranging things a great deal.  I turned it around and around, and have decided that this way is up (partly because if I turn it the other way, I see an enormous duck).

I built a story line of sorts for it, involving a birch trees and a cave with pools of water and hidden jewels, some kind of ancient adventure, as seen through a window from afar.  And with that, I can find enough affection for it to, at least, keep it out of puddles.


  1. I get that feeling. Even though photography requires going out and finding something worthwhile, when it comes to the editing process, you can agonize just as easily. I've spent an hour fiddling with a picture, only to scrap all the modifications and go back to staring at the original... still unhappy. Some images never realized their full potential because I couldn't get past the block of figuring out how to make them what they needed to be.

    1. Yep. Sometimes I think a lot of art is just getting out of my own way, and I was having a lot of trouble doing that with this canvas...