Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blink Of An Eye

"Twilight Reverie" in progress painting
Revised painting, in progress

After an unusually warm Fall and a very green Christmas, the weather has changed from mid October-like to mid winter in the blink of an eye. As I write this, we are experiencing what is locally called Lake Effect snow. Those who live on the borders of the Great Lakes know exactly what I mean; periods of heavy blowing snow interspersed with blinding moments of cheerful sunshine. Mother Nature is at her most fickle.

Early January is the time that my day job dictates doing all the end of the year chores that are required for preparing business tax figures for the accountant. In my case, that would be two businesses: my husband’s and my own. So, this week I am sorting through papers, making new file folders, moving records and compiling documents into the Tax Box.

On the art front, I always do an end of year assessment, looking back over the year and noting what art sold, what art was started, exhibitions participated in, new products created, hours spent in the studio (yes, I do keep track of that for every work of art) and other assorted things. Part of that is also planning ahead and making new goals for the coming year.

So here I am in the midst of all this busyness, thinking about the promising year ahead. Having gone through some very difficult years (family, health, emotional) where art has taken a back seat and practically been kicked to the curb, I am thinking more than ever that THIS is the year to poop or get off the pot. Pardon the vulgarity, but that is exactly the phrase which is most apt. Either start creating again or throw in the towel for good.

For quite a few months now, I’ve been stuck on one particular large painting. There was something bothering me about the background. Was it too warm - or not? I feared that I had fallen into that crippling pit of following the reference photo too closely. I couldn’t decide, and so it languished on the easel, staring back at me in admonishment of my incompetence.

A few months ago I decided to learn more about Notan, an art technique used in the composing a work of art. I will write more about that later. Having learned how to apply it to a work of art, I decided to  apply it to this same painting to improve another problem that was bothering me. The simplest way to do that was to manipulate the image on the computer in Photoshop, and in the process I could try cooling down that offending background with a thin layer of blue on the computer screen. That is exactly what I did, and in another blink of an eye I knew this was the answer to my dilemma, and it hadn’t even risked ruining the painting!

However, the holidays were fast approaching, with much to be done and little time to devote to art. I decided to put off working on the painting until after the holidays which brings me to the present.

I love this part of winter when I can hibernate inside and not feel guilty about all the things I should get done outside. It is a time to relax, regroup and begin anew. Having resolved the problem of how to fix the painting (which had also greatly boosted my miniscule self confidence), I am now eager to work on Twilight once again. THIS year I resolve to put art at the top of the priority list and let everything else fit around it.

I am letting go of all the rejections and disappointments of the last several years and moving forward with new confidence, moving in new directions and setting more realistic expectations for the future. I feel more upbeat than I have in years, and that is a very positive thing. 

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