Friday, December 11, 2009

Working out the kinks

I'm starting to get back in the groove. There's a tactile feel to painting that needs to be reconnected with each and every time you approach the canvas. You start pensive, then after an hour the frustration leads to boredom with the confinement generated by a paralyzing fear that comes from thinking about an outcome too far to even fathom. You get tired. The brush feels like a mop handle spreading tar. You step away and get angry at the sight of confused effort. Dammit, quit thinking and paint. The strength of purpose overcompensates and now you move too aggressively and that's when it fuck up. Nothing major, after all you've just begun, but there it is; the wayward stroke or the wrong color. No one can see it but you. Happens every time, it's part of the dance. You curse your predicament, question your judgement, wonder if you should start over but realize that's not a viable option worth pursuing so you stall; use the bathroom, get something to drink, change the music, pace the floor, stare at the canvas and in the end, do what you should have done hours ago - let go and quit caring. You negotiate terms with failure and after awhile you begin to relax and muscle memory takes over. Like a marathoner, you hit your stride, settle into a pace and eventually achieve a level of comfort that allows you to quit questioning the process. Even though you can't see it, you can feel the trust emerging, telling you that everything is fine. That's what I've been waiting for. Trust in the process. After two days of painting, it's finally here and I know I'm going to be okay. The image below is from day one. 

I finished the clothing and moved onto the next character's clothing. The angle of attack is to complete the four main characters in the painting and set a visually consistent tone amongst them before moving on. The goal is to have them completed before Christmas. Ambitious, but I want to get as far out front on this painting as possible.

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