Skewing, like painting self-portraits, is a really good habit for stretching your painterly muscles and dabbling in different color palettes and styles. And this one, proudly hanging in the studio/gallery, is really something to crow about. :)
I am still searching for the "best and most beautiful part" in those wounds.
It's easy for me to see beauty in the scars of others - the strength, tenderness, tenacity, surrender - all the incredible qualities emerging from their past experiences. I'd like to transform mine into something of beauty in my own eyes, too. There is freedom in that transformation. I can almost taste it.
About the art: beginning with an inspiration photo which has been notanized, creating a value study of darks and lights with watered down acrylic paint and chunky soft pencils. Slowly adding the layers required to create depth and texture. Liberal use of water bottle, rubber wedge and paper towel.
This piece was a wrestling match - almost as if the inner critic was fighting with me in the paint. Eventually this woman emerged, victorious but perhaps needing a hot bath and a respite from struggle. Art imitates life.
There is a terrifying amount of mental chatter that goes along with a shift like the one I've made (and am still making) - who's going to get all the things done? Who will keep track of the things that need to be done? What will people think when I'm not doing, going, making, solving, handling, communicating, taking care of (and so on) to my fullest ability? I am shushing myself a lot.
Thich Nhat Hanh passed away two days ago. I sobbed. His voice and words are in my ears, softly suggesting I just tend the lettuces and see the interconnectedness of all things. There is no hurry. There is only now. I think he might be right there, in the bark and fruit of the pear tree, in the sunshine and the clouds, in the rain and the soil, in you and in me, sitting there under the tree.
About the art: working from a notanized image and beginning with Stabilo woody pencils, sketching in the darks and putting a wet brush on the pencil to create a light value sketch. Slowly adding the requisite 80 million layers of light washes and resisting the desire to make hair something other than an abstract idea. Allowing sprayed water to move paint. For this piece I stayed with three colors (a warm red, a dark blue and a dark brown) plus white and titan buff. Liberal use of rubber wedge, a large, dry house painting brush and paper towels for blending.
This is an extreme example, but still...
In smaller ways, fear freezes us in place, unable to take risks, feel feelings, try new things, set boundaries, change things that so need changing. It is no different in art, where the fear of taking creative risks keeps us stuck in a rut and reformulating the thing we already can do. Fear is the mind killer.
But a little progress, like taking one step when the feet really don't want to move, is freedom from fear. That first step is everything you need to take the next one. Ready? Set? GO!
It's impossible (for me) to stand at the edge of the continent without feeling very aware of the fleetingness of life, the preciousness of the moment, the smallness of the minutes each of us exist. And so I breathe. In and out. Grateful.
About the art: a rough charcoal drawing of big shapes, followed by loose brush painting with large arm gestures. Rubber wedge, paper towels, fingers. Think layers and thick. A palette knife here and there. Keeping the palette of colors narrow-is and resisting the cadmium red that I long to splatter on everything. :)
Jen Jovan and her imaJENation