Friday, October 29, 2010

#38 - "Small Package" and Big Procrastination

Small Package
6"x6" oil on linen panel

I am back and forth between the dogs and the beach cottages.  I'm enjoying both subjects.  I know I need  extra work to take to the Monpelier Hunt Races on November 6 for the Virginia Equine Artists Association booth.  I know, it is the equine artists' association.  But most horsey people also love their dogs, hence, small dog paintings!

But that really wasn't what I wanted to write about this morning.  Rather, procrastination has been on my mind lately.  I'll keep it short, don't worry!  I started the "100 Paintings in 100 Days" as a way of challenging myself to keep up with painting on a very regular basis.  I went along pretty well for a while, but lately have been pretty lax about it.  Sigh.  But, I decided to take my procrastination and look at it as part of the creative journey.  Below is a quote from the Robert Genn Twice-Weekly Letter :

"The game theorist and strategist Thomas C. Schelling suggested procrastination is not a personal weakness. It's more a function of the selves within ourselves who are actually at war with one another. For example, your long-term self says you're going to paint 100 paintings and get yourself a decent gallery. Next day your short-term self cuts in and has you alphabetizing everything in the spice cupboard or cleaning the lake. It's not you, it's your "divided self" that runs you off track and amok.

Interestingly, the divided self also gives powerful creative input. Putting things off may not be all that bad. Getting a second opinion is certainly part of our game. A work of art well sat on may turn out better than one completed to a hasty schedule. While experts identify university professors as the top procrastinators, artists cannot be far behind. "

So, I guess I will spend today having a conversation with myself about my challenge.  I'm not giving up, simply re-evaluating it.  I will keep on, perhaps not quite making The Date of when the 100 paintings should reach their end.  

I'd love hearing your comments on what you think about procrastination.  If you will, post your comments here on the blog, as opposed to email.  That way we can all share your opinions and comments.  Thanks!

Friday, October 22, 2010

#37 - Castaway

Beginning of "Castaway"

Next stage of "Castaway"

8x10" oil on linen panel

Here is another Topsail Island, North Carolina cottage.  My sister-in-law particularly likes this little place.  It is old, tucked in next to the newer, taller, fancier places built around it.  It has a little house behind it also, which makes it seem like a little blue gem.  It's name is "Castaway", hence the title for the painting.  I am fairly happy with this little painting, although I squashed it in, so that it lost it's true shape. I think I will try it again.  This one was done from memory and photos, and so it lacks that little extra something that happens when you are actually in front of a subject painting it.  I wanted to show you a couple "before and after" shots of this piece in process.  I did opt to enlarge the house, taking out the bushes on the left.  I'm not sure I should have done that, or not.  I'd love to hear your opinions on that. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

#36 - Take a Bow

Take a Bow
6"x 6" oil on linen panel

It may seem like I am all over the map as far as subject go.  You could be right!  But there is method to my madness.  I will be part of the Virginia Equine Artists Association booth at the Montpelier Hunt Races on Saturday, November 6.  For that booth I take, you guessed it, equine paintings!  But in addition to the horses, I am planning on taking some dog paintings also.  Small paintings, framed in big, wide, hunky frames.  Fun, small, less expensive paintings for people, which feel like little gems.  I had fun with this dog.  I painted it in about 20 minutes, and wanted to play with the design aspects of the composition.

Tomorrow I hope to get one of the Topsail Island cottages painted and posted.  Now that I've said that, I had better do it! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

#35 - "The Sub" House

"The Sub" House
8x10" oil on linen panel

I have been wanting to paint this house for 5 years!  Finally I've done it.  It is a house just down the street from the house we rent on Topsail Island.  It is a wonderfully fun little house, painted yellow, aqua shutters and rose colored doors (and chair), it just exudes happiness.  It also has a wonderful plaque which names it as "The Sub".  Looks like it could be in Bermuda or Florida, but it fits in just fine here in North Carolina.  I have taken pictures from all angles, and I want to paint other sides of it.  Painting this house has started me on an idea of painting "beach places".  Mostly Americana beach homes from days gone by, but also some funky places that you seldom see anywhere except at the beach.  Can't wait to add that to my 100 in 100 challenge, and hopefully a series to-come!  Life is a beach!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Palmettos Revisited - #33

Palmettos Revisited
11x14" oil on linen panel

Here we are, at the beach, on Topsail Island, NC.  We're on beach time, with family and good times.  This is the fifth year, in the same ocean front house that we all share.  Two years ago I started the painting above, but didn't finish it.  So, finally, I finished it this year.  The trees had changed a little, and the shadows needed to be changed some, but basically it was the same.  I fussed and fussed around with it, and finally let my intuition have its way.  I played with the colors, the shapes, and finally decided it was as done as I wanted it to be.  There are still things I could do to it, but then these plein air pieces are not always finished products.  Some are, but some aren't.  I'm fairly pleased with it, so let it be!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wipe Out!

Wipe Out!
8x10 oil on linen panel

The title of this one, "Wipe Out", doesn't refer to the surfing term, it refers to what I should have done to this one!  The surfer, who is actually my daughter, became way too large in the piece, and the pier became tiny.  My mind wasn't into the painting time, and it took all of about 10 minutes.  I wasn't into the painting time.  But the mere fact of showing up to paint, whether I was into it or not, became the journey.  So, I didn't wipe it out, even though that is really what I should have done.  On to the next one!

Friday, October 8, 2010

More Wave Action

Lone Wave
8x10" oil on line panel

We are on Topsail Island, North Carolina, with wonderful weather, great family time, wonderful beachy time.  I decided that I am going to work on water, since we are so surrounded by water here.  This was a 20 minute painting.  All I wanted to work on the wave action.  I think I should have made that central, without the background water.  I will work on more of these while we are here.  The colors in the waves are different according to the thickness of the wave, with the light going through it.  I am hoping to work on learning how to get the luminosity of the wave where it is the thinnest.  This will be an ongoing project.  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

#31 - "Piggin' Out"

Piggin' Out
6"x6" oil on linen panel

Keeping on with the farm theme, here is a Maine pig.  Don't suppose he is that much different that a California pig, or a Virginia pig.  He was quite the interesting guy, but more interested in eating than looking my way, other than a short glance.

I keep working on painting more, doing less, to say more.  If that makes no sense, here is a translation: I want to paint as much as possible.  By painting more, and getting better, I will be able to simplify the subject down as much as possible, to be able to show the most of the essence of the subject, rather than just a reproduction of the subject.  Now, you may think I've taken a step off the edge, or that my "little grey cells" (so says Hercule Poirot via Agatha Christie), have gone on vacation.  Could be.  I wouldn't completely rule it out.  But I know where I want to go with my painting, and what I want to say, which is a step in the right direction.  Hope you follow me on the journey. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

#30 - Strutting My Stuff

Chicken Stut
6x6" oil on linen panel

Silly play on words, I know!  I photographed this chicken up in Maine, on an organic farm we visited.  I took some artistic license with her, to make her a bit more flamboyant.  I am headed off to the North Carolina beaches in a couple days, and I know exactly what I want to paint, for starters, when I get there!  So I will keep posting and keeping up, as best I can, in-between all that fun beach stuff!