THE DRAGON IN MY STUDIO
I sometimes tell friends that going into the studio is like facing a dragon who is ready and waiting to challenge me while I paint.
This painting is a good example of the beast who was live and ticking throughout the process. This isn't a negative thing, but a positive thing. The "dragon" perhaps is my own subconscious telling me that something isn't right, and that I better fix it, or at least try. As I layer on color, scrape it back, add line, remove it, enhance it, step back and see what I've done, I realize the thrill of the process that I experience every time I paint. I have no blueprint or sketch to guide me, but rather rely on the inner voice which always has something to say. I often begin with unusual color combinations or textures that will lead to something new, something different, something I haven't experienced before. The more risky, the more I invite the dragon into my process. Of course, a new discovery can lead to a series of work that can be linked through a similar process, and I strive for that. But, when I am stuck and want something fresh and new, I invite the meanest dragon out there to say, "I dare you", and off I go in a new direction. It is true that although I may like a painting when it is finished, as time goes on I may no longer like it, or even detest it to the point I can no longer live with it. I have covered over paintings that once hung in museums to try and find a better solution, one that I can tolerate or even like, even if only for a short time. In my next post, I will show you what I mean.
I'm curious; is there a dragon in your studio? Does your inner voice sometimes feel like a beast? If so, how do you deal with it? Please post a comment and share your thoughts. We can all learn from each other.
Now that I've created a new website, it's time to get back in the studio! My encaustic studio is kind of cold as it is in an attached garage. Though renovated (wall cabinets removed to allow hanging space and more room in general to maneuver myself and the paintings around. It is still a tight space, but a large table on wheels is helpful. It gets a bit cold when the temperature drops below zero, but it is manageable and with the updated ventilation system, the bottle of ice no longer freezes!
Today, I will work on glazing to improve the overall unity and the design as well; color saturation and values need to be evaluated. I would like the piece to read well from a distance, as well as up close.
I am very excited for 2015. I spent New Year's eve making a new website (it's almost done), and over the last couple of months we've done some smallish renovations in the encaustic and framing studio which should be very helpful. Now, instead of a large box fan in the window when it's zero degrees, I can just turn on the large ventilation fan you see in the picture. I can still hear my music when it's on, and it moves along a track for a little flexibility. The original cabinets are now gone, which upon removal, revealed some interesting pack rat activity. Imagine our surprise when about 5 lbs of pet food fell out from behind the insulation when it was torn out. As much as I'd love to have our two dogs Cornelia and Vincent in the studio with me, there isn't enough room for them, and me, so they will stay in the house (and mope, sleep, eat, and wait) while I spend most of my time in this studio. Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year!