It’s cold and damp and the light is not good. Sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating to get colors right on a painting or to photograph a piece in this winter light. It is really nice to be so focused on the work and to get a larger number of paintings ready to show. When spring hits, I’m sure I’ll have more company and more events to go out to. It can be harder to focus on creating new work when other aspects of the job take more time.
I just read a couple funny things about working at home… It can get a little crazy… I wake up thinking about painting and only go to sleep when I’m sure I can’t do any more useful work at night. There’s no real commute… except to the kitchen… all the way down stairs.
It is a luxury, though, to be able to focus on the pursuit that transfixes me so. Words are really tricky… I can’t say how many times people have said to me “at least you’re doing what you love”…
Yes! I am! It’s WAY better than writing lesson plans, grading papers, or selling insurance policies! But those tasks didn’t consume my thoughts in such a voracious way. I’m always hungry to see what image appears on the next canvas. It’s always a surprise to me! Even if I think I know what I’m painting, I am always surprised at the end product.
So one of my favorite things to do is to paint with live music… It’s especially exciting when I’m on stage. I’ve been on stage a fair amount in my life – quite a bit if you count time lecturing – but in most situations, one gets to face the audience. When I paint on stage, my back is to the audience and they can see the bare, raw, unfinished work! Of course I never know how it’s going to work out! I just keep going with my fingers crossed – no looking at a clock. No looking at the crowd. Just warm spotlight and ambiance and good music…
It’s kind of funny to me because at the house, I often turn my unfinished pieces around so that people in my house don’t see the works in progress.
In order to finish one or two pieces in 2 hours, live, I have several hours of canvas prep to do. First, I prime the canvas. Then I add fabrics or papers. Then I have to apply at least 2 coats of additional paint to make sure it’ll take the paint the way I want. I try to be as random as possible with the colors. Using white as a background would be more standard, but then, sometimes, in low light, I miss spots and have white gaps in my painting. That’s not cool…
Here’s a random painting I’m particularly fond of.
I don’t have a show to represent in March, but I have April at 133 S Gay St, Knoxville, followed by shows at Central Flats N Taps and Crafty Bastard in the following months.
I’m sure I do things other than paint, but they’re not nearly as interesting so I’ll leave it there.
Onward and upward!