|Zig Zag Thru Midtown II, Acrylic 14x14" Click to buy|
Have you ever finished a painting and then said to yourself - ' It works, but it's not what I was aiming for'. That happens to me often enough, and it usually means I want the painting to have a looser, more abstract quality about it.
Often before I start a painting, I will sketch it out in charcoal to get the basic drawing and proportions accurate. This is how I started the painting in my previous post from July 3. The only problem with this approach is that it can feel like I'm just "filling-in-the-lines", working in a coloring-book manner, which can feel constricting. For this painting I decided to just jump in head first with paint, without working out the drawing first, and gradually "sculpt out" the shapes and whatever detail was necessary. This approach, to me, is much more engaging, and feels less mechanical. It forces me to work out the drawing while I'm painting, without the security of a safety net. It also makes me "react"more, stroke by stroke, to continually make choices about the balance of shapes and overall design.
As I look at both paintings side by side, I'm not sure there is an obvious difference that I started them in completely different manners. But as the artist, my experience working on each was so different. I was more creatively engaged in the second one, and felt much freer in every way, including more freedom in color choices.
In the end, for me, its about keeping the experience imaginative, fresh and somewhat unpredictable. Which means experimentation and going outside my comfort zone... I suppose that translates into a higher liklihood of more pieces that "fail"... but how can one grow or have breakthroughs if they are not experimenting and taking risks? In other words, that old saying comes to mind... no pain, no gain.