Looking back to move forward
I’ve been loving this figure session I’ve been attending on Mondays. A model sits for us for 4 hours and we can do whatever we want in that time. Some days I paint the same image the whole time, some days I work on one image for a while, then move to a new spot and start a second. It’s very focused and you fall into this flow-y state and at days end I’m both tired and energized and I usually have an open-hearted post-spa sort of feeling. Deluxe.
I almost always leave feeling proud of the work I’ve done (which follows also after moments of darkness and great doubt in the painting process when I look at the smeary mess on my canvas). I’ve definitely made a lot of progress in my ability to see the shapes and colors and capture some of it on the canvas. But it’s interesting, too, to notice how differently I see the work when I am away from the moment of doing it, when I am back in my own studio or showing it to someone on my phone. Then, the work tends to seem heavy or flat or cartoonish — instead of lively and energized like it did when I was in the act of making it.
A couple still hold up to me when I look at them later. Could I think more about how they got made — what might have set their making apart from the others that aren’t as successful — to help identify steps or attitudes that would be most likely to support future awesomeness?
studies from October & November… oil on canvas.