After a nice long lazy holiday break I’m ready to write again! Though I wasn’t active on here (or very much online at all), I was quietly working away on several projects in between family and junk food.
I’ve put more detail into the text on the books and started filling in the background. Hopefully this painting will be finished in 3-4 more sessions. One of the hardest parts has been waiting for the oils to dry enough for me to continue work. Tim is ready for me to be finished; he bought a nice frame for it so once it has dried so he can hang it proudly in his space. It’s nice to have that kind of motivation.
I finally dug out (and forgot to dust off) my Close-inspired self portrait. Last year I was very focused on coming up with a portfolio of works, specifically still lives and studies, so my original works took a bit of a back seat while I strived to improve. Now that the new year is upon me I’m going to dive head first into original works again but first I’d like to go through any unfinished work I have and a) finish it off or b) white wash it. With a piece like this it’s hard to track progress. Even once all the colors are down and opaque (which is largely all I’ve been working on so far), how do I know I’m done? I’ll have to go on instinct. There’s still a lot of things I want to do with this piece but thankfully it’s in acrylics, so work can proceed a little faster. On the downside, I can’t mix paint ahead of time so really have to think on what I’m going to need for colors beforehand. I really need to focus on distinguishing each side of the painting: bright colors versus bland pale shades. I also need to bring some more darks in and start looking at defining smaller shapes within the grid.
It feels like it’s been awhile since I picked up a pencil for some simple sketches. On that note I decided last week to start work on a new illustration project meant for my new copics! I’m in the research phase at the moment, trying to get comfortable with my subject.
Thinking back to last year around this time, something like this would’ve really intimidated me. I don’t normally draw animals or wildlife so it’s out of my comfort zone. Now though, it’s just another challenge! I think having so much on the go last year and chugging through so many works helped me gain confidence enough in my abilities to try new things.
Last year was a big year for me artistically. I threw down all my pre-conceived notions of what kind of art I should’ve been doing and just went at it. Through all the frustrations, headaches and giddiness I put together a portfolio of work that I feel confident with. Looking at the first and last pieces I can see improvement and hope that’s it’s visible to others as well.
Last year I felt like I was stumbling around in the dark for a lot of the time. I pushed on without having confidence in the result simply because I knew I had to. This year is different; I’m not longer a rambling artist chasing inspiration, but a focused artist seeking it. I know it’s within my grasp and I’m ready for it. Bring it on, 2012!