The studio is getting noisy. Paintings lay on the floor, lean against walls, chattering to each other. And to me. Today’s chosen one, propped up on the bamboo chair/easel, holds court in the designated place of honor. Sketches, tacked up with painter’s tape and fluttering with the movement of the ceiling fan, lend voices to the choir. Or should I say racket?
Writers tell us that their fictional characters talk back, let them know what they need. Painted counterparts are no less bossy. Artistic characters include figures, architecture, landscape, and abstract elements such as line, shape, and color. Once placed upon the canvas, they develop a mind of their own. And a dialogue ensues.
Sure it’s loud, but having multiple works in progress is advantageous, even necessary, when in full production mode. Each stage of the painting process, beginning, middle, and end, requires a particular mind set. And I’ve gotten good at knowing where to report for duty. Tired, distracted, or uninspired? Start something new. Feeling confident and capable? Tackle that problem child just begging for resolution. Loose and in the groove? Put down the finishing strokes, sign on the bottom right, and step away.
Whatever the state of mind, there is a piece to match it. That’s one way to keep working.
There are other benefits to the production pipeline. A breakthrough moment on one image may provide the solution for the problem of another. Paint needs to dry on this piece, a timeout is needed from that one. A color is mixed, all wrong for the intended passage, but gorgeous nevertheless. I hold up my mixing knife, slathered with the orphan pigment, searching for a new home. Several. Like a good hostess at a cocktail party, I work the room, making sure the needs of my guests are tended to.
There comes a time though, when each piece must be set apart and given full attention. And if I listen hard enough, it tells me what to do.
Save the dates:
Exhibit opening, September 2, 2016 at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, Bainbridge Island, WA
Multi-media presentation, September 8, 2016, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art