The Rhythm of the Studio

One of the mysterious truths of making art is an artist has to discover the working methods that click with their particular brand of creativity.  You have to try just about everything until you stumble upon what is going to work best for you.

Above is a photo of my studio this morning. At the left is the blocked-in foundation coat of paint for my new 36 x 54 inch canvas that's based on a smaller composition I made earlier this year Beneath the Pine (that I wrote about in the previous blog post). It's an unusually detailed first coat of paint for me. It took many hours of staring and mixing. 

At this point I am putting the new painting aside for a few days. My excuse can be I want to let it dry thoroughly before plunging back into it, which sounds all good and rational. But the real reason is more an "absence makes the heart grow fonder" phenomenon. I need to refresh my thinking and my eyes for the painting. 

Leaning against my other easel on the right in the photograph (above) is a new canvas I've just begun stretching. It will be a 28 x 54 inch panorama of day breaking over islands in a vast sea. I'm basing it on The Dawn (below), oil on canvas, 18 x 36 inches, 2019 that's now down in Texas at Meredith Long Gallery.

The next few days I'll be doing the initial drawing on this new canvas and then blocking in the base colors over its whole surface. 

And then, I know my internal pendulum is likely to start swinging back toward the first canvas that I've taken this short vacation from. It will start calling out to me to put a little new color on it here and change that edge a bit over there. Something about being away from it will have gotten my juices running and I'll be off and painting the heck out of it again.

It happens every time.


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