Art is a Fickle Business

One minute you’re all set to race off in one direction then, something new shows up.  Don’t get me wrong though.  It’s is not a bad thing!

Limiting myself or my art to a particular style seems counter-productive. There”s way too much to do and that’s without any new ideas or discoveries that come up.  The enthusiasm would wane if I imposed limitations on style. I need to be able to take full advantage of unplanned, random “opportunities”.

(“Play things” with a license to be fickle!)

While working on this issue of Studio News, an example of how things can change unexpectedly emerged.

I was processing progress photos of the day’s work and some needed rotating. It turned out that one was better upside-down! In my eyes at least! In the group of four progress shots below you can see the difference. I guess we’re conditioned to see land as darker than sky most of the time anyway.

(Stages 1 to 4 of a current exploration.)

As I pondered, my mind went off on a tangent, automatically brainstorming, the implications and possibilities, as well as how to resolve this painting? This change of direction (literally!) might see me veer off on yet another exciting tangent. I don’t know yet, but I can feel “something”.

It was only a minor fickleness episode but it could change the course of this painting and my art generally. Who knows! It’s a big adventure.

Another painting in the series has shown me something else to investigate. Layer one didn’t cut it, nor did layer two. So I plastered some 3 in 1 paint over the whole shebang. Now I have a background that I really like and it’s asking for something. I don’t know what. It’ll be a waiting game I suspect. An incubation period. Another adventure.

(Layers 1, 2 and 3, top to bottom)

Sometimes, it really is difficult to know what to pursue and what to forget. I think the only way to cope with all this fickleness might be to act on impulse. You know, those sudden intuitive directives that say “just do this, or that” or “what if we do this?” Be impulsive and fickle right back, test the fickleness, use it. Trust your judgement and intuition. Don’t be predictable. Instil a little adventure and excitement into the process and let it show.

New Work

“Trackwork” and “Swell” are now listed on Bluethumb

“Trackwork” 40cm wide x 28cm high
“Swell” 68cm wide x 25cm high

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Click here to find out about exhibitions I currently have work in.

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Moving Along

The Art Society of Tasmania’s annual exhibition opened last Thursday night. There are lots of pieces I would love to take home! It’s really worth a look if you’re in Hobart.

To my great surprise, “Glacial” was Commended and I received a $100 voucher from my favourite Hobart art shop, Artery. Thank you very much Artery!

“Glacial” won’t be coming home with me after the exhibition because someone bought it on Friday! Two surprises in one week!

The collages I have underway are coming along well. It’s fun trying to come up with ways to vary them …..alter the number of collage or paint layers, play with the sanding back, take off in a completely different direction or just see what each one seems to want!?

The black and white one now has red gold tinted paint scraped over it and I’ve since sanded back the surface and added more black and white collage pieces – below

The idea is to still work freely at this stage, without too much consideration for design etc but it’s hard! Once you know something it can be difficult to work without taking it into account! When I stopped working on this one (below) I put it aside to work on another, but looking at it again later, I think it is very near finished, if not finished already.

Here’s one of the others with more collage added over the sanded back paint layer.

Those value designs I mentioned last time might be useful for some of these pieces and I have a thermal transfer pencil that could get a look in too! It’s a case of working away and being led by the pieces themselves.

After drafting this Studio News I watched a Brian Rutenberg video. (It was that or more housework!) There’s some interesting advice on offer. Have a look. It’s about 23 minutes long.

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

Click here to find out about exhibitions I currently have work in.

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