A Series of Resolutions

There are eight works in the On My Marks series and most of them have changed quite a lot from those first marks.

“Switchback”, below, is the most successful I think.  It’s going to be the inspiration for another series shortly.  I like the sky and the variety of marks and shapes that make up the “land”.

Switchback” 25cm wide x 25cm high

Reactions vary when my arty friends see me working.  It’s interesting to see who likes what and sometimes their preferences are predictable.  My favorites are often different again.  Regardless though, I keep plugging away towards some sort of resolution.

Resolution?  It can be at one of several stages.  Things might feel unsatisfying or uncomfortable to varying degrees.  The best result is to be feeling excited and inspired to move forward.  There’s a large range of perceptions between the two extremes of unsatisfied and excited!  The “unsatisfying” paintings are set aside, in “halfway hell”,  to be reviewed sometime in the future.  They might get a touch up if there’s something to improve, or they may end up in the reuse box.

This one has been a challenge.  A problem child that wouldn’t cooperate!  It’s going to “halfway hell” or the collage box.

This fellow feels fairly comfortable. It’s “almost” there. “Almost”, why is that the case and what do we do about it?

The in-between/barely comfortable paintings sit, waiting for alterations or until another conclusion is reached regarding their fate.  Are they done or not?  Not everything can be “exciting”.  They might still be good enough to send out into the world.

The “exciting” ones are listed on the website and entered into suitable exhibitions.  There are only two in this series that feel “exciting” at this stage.  “Switchback” (above, at the start of this Studio News) and “Refuge” below.

Refuge” 25cm wide x 25cm high

“Refuge” is one that felt exciting to varying degrees along the way.  It’s a starter for exhibitions etc.

Bearing in mind the different opinions of others when deciding these things is fraught with danger.  You need to make decisions yourself otherwise you’ll forever feel uncomfortable about what happens with particular pieces.

Putting the doubtful ones aside earlier, rather than later, frees you up to build on what has been successful.  Some would prefer to keep at it, trying to resolve things, but I like to put them aside and move on.  Depending on how far aside they are put, I may review things later and do more!

You can see my available art at Bluethumb.

Images in the website Gallery also link directly to Bluethumb.

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On My Marks Series

On the move with a new group of paintings …. the “On My Marks” series!

The above is a tiny section of a mark making and collage exercise.  It appealed to me immediately, the shapes and the flow of the lines.  If you look close, can see a sneaky “s” hiding in there.  It’s basically a curvy design with a hint of diagonals. That texture is nice too.  The crop won’t be translated visibly into the new work, it’s a starting point, an inspiration!

This palette of colours is one I’ve been playing with for a while.  Pthalo blue and raw umber yellowish with black and white, with cadmium yellow light added to the mix.  It’s providing some brightness and a little touch of playfulness.

(The bottom sheet are mixes made with the addition of the cadmium yellow light.)

The series started with eight small squares taped together.  To begin, intuitive marks were made using leftover paint from exploring the colour mixes.  Then, some drawing with water soluble graphite and water flicked about to create a few drips.

Standing back to look at them, it felt like they needed a bit more warm colour.  So I added more marks with a raw umber yellowish mix, did a spot of drawing with a coloured pencil, made some more drips and lifted off things here and there.  Then, they were allowed to “cook” for a while.

It can be difficult not to plough ahead with things, but sometimes you get to a point where you know you’re just continuing for the sake of it, not because you have a useful contribution to make.

Here are two of the squares.  The bottom one is more interesting than the top one.  There’s still a way to go though, so don’t panic!

(The first step of these two is on the left, and the next stage, with more warmth, on the right. A little “spot the differences” moment for you!)

What to do next?  I had a look and decided to do whatever came to mind, or hand!  A bit of collage, then they needed lightening up with “sky” areas.  The images were leading the way.  (If they”re leading me I don’t have to take responsibility!)

Sometimes you don’t know whether what you want to do is right or not.  No, that’s all the time really!  It means that you do things and immediately regret them.  Why do you go further when you liked what you had originally? People often say that you build up a history by creating layers.  That’s true and I have done that successfully, but I’m not convinced it’s the only way to work.

The four images below are the two paintings shown earlier.  I’ve done more to them now.  The first one has been turned upside down!  They’re still not done.

(Not sure that I like the green here.  Not feeling very fond of the blobbiness of the “hill”, although, there are some interesting marks in there.)
(After a bit more work.)
(Quite like the make up of the bottom part of this one.  The colour seems better somehow, even though there’s green here too.  Maybe that sky needs to be taken back to white…..or blue?!)
(This sky seems to bring it to life.)

The others are coming along too, but there’s more to do.  More to do or more to learn, or both!  Painting is a learning experiece as well as a creative one.  There’s always more to learn, especially from the “duds”.

Subscribe here to receive fortnightly issues of “Studio News”.

Click here to find out about exhibitions Wendy currently has work in.

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