These two questions are what the world asks of us, the teachers and critiques, audiences and customers, galleries and museums. And the difficult thing is, there is no answer. It is all subjective, which means, opinions.
At times I try to follow that illusive "good" label, aligning myself with some critical element coming from outside of me. Listening to that voice only makes me miserable, until, blessedly, I give up and realize I DON'T KNOW!!! I don't know what I am doing! I'm a failure!
So I sulk around for a few days until out of boredom I pick up a colored pencil and begin to scribble some worthless mess on paper. This sucks. Why am I doing this? I'm only wasting my expensive pencils.
Soon the world opens back up again and I'm back in the flow. MY FLOW. The glory of it is, when you stop trying to be something, you lose your head and get into the flow of it. How could I ever forget? Well, as Ms. Barry explains, you learn and forget this an infinite number of times.
Oh yeah, I remember now, that familiar territory of deep calm and trust, where nothing matters and I get to play again. Bliss.
From the July 2015 Newsletter. Check out past monthly newsletters and subscribe HERE. It's free and easy!
|Three canvases hang as one piece, a total of six feet wide|
Earlier this spring I was experimenting in the studio, playing with muted colors and out of focus shapes. I also added the little color chips of dried paint I've used with previous work. The result was the image on the right, with the chips running vertically down the center.
A friend liked it so much we decided to add two more paintings to the series. His large walls need artwork that fills the space rather than getting lost on a big blank wall. Creating a series hung together as one piece makes a defining statement.
I had a lot of fun playing with geometry and negative space in the positioning of the paint chips. And with the muted, diffused background, the small bits of bright paint seem to jump off the wall.
In June I was thrilled to be commissioned to paint a large two-panel piece for a client's living room. She needed "tree energy", so we decided it needed to be big! The painting measures 4 feet x 6 feet.
It has a fairly simple base structure of two intertwined trees that will be populated with leaves or blooms or whatever she desires. She's one of my mandala students, so I insisted she join me in painting these jewels. Here is the painting today, sans jewels. It is handsome as is, don't you think?
I used many transparent layers to create the background effect of depth, and kept the color simple and only slightly brighter than the wall color. This makes the organic shape of the trees dominate rather than being confronted with a large rectangle on the wall.
In a few weeks I'll add the final painting with all the beautiful jewels.
|Installed view of Whispers Riding in the Wind, 36"x 144", The Lincoln Center, Fort Collins.|