Since I finished my mentorship in January, I’ve been slowly re-adjusting to having 100% of my working energy devoted to my art again. My galleries are somewhat stocked and I have no homework now, so I’ve been in the position of painting whatever I want for the first time in ages. Quite honestly, I’ve been floundering a bit about what I should be painting. Should I be doing small paintings or large paintings? Working on stuff that will sell or stretching myself? Recently I’ve gotten into a groove of just selfishly working on whatever I want on a given day, and I’ve gotta say it’s been really great!
I spent most of January working on show entries and commissions. I’ve spent the bulk of this month letting loose on three 30×40″ paintings (starting the fourth tomorrow). I’m taking advantage of the economy being a bit slow to spend some time working on what I want to work on, and right now that means larger panels and different subject matter than I usually do on a large scale. It’s been a ton of fun to move paint around with large brushes, and work on the subtle variations in color and value that are less noticable in small work. I tried to do an 8×10″ at the start of the month, and I hated working on it so much that it was a dismal failure. So, I pulled out the big panels and got to work, and haven’t touched a small panel since.
It occurred to me that it’s good to have some time like this, where I’m not responding to deadlines or gallery requests or commission deadlines. It’s good to have the time to experiment and have fun, and try new things just for the sake of moving some paint around.
When I used to be all into triathlons, it was really immportant to build a rest day into every week of training. Without that one day of rest, I’d inevitably get injured or burned out or sick. My body and my brain just needed a break. I think my art is the same way – sometimes I get all wrapped up in a schedule and the discipline of producing, and after a while I get a bit burned out. It’s nice to have a break every once in a while when I can give it all a rest – just enjoy the process without the pressure of it being my job.
Anyhow, I haven’t photographed anything recently, so this is one I did back in January. It was one of my OPA entries, and was sadly rejected from the show. That’s okay though – I’ve learned not to take show rejections (or acceptances!!) personally. I knew this was a unique subject, and I did my best with it. It was fun to paint, and I learned from it, and I happen to really like it. Who knows, maybe I’ll frame it and keep it!