Tomorrow I am going to start another 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I’ve played along on a couple of these in the past, when another artist has announced a challenge and invited other people to participate. They were both really good experiences that advanced my work, and I’m glad I did them. The last one was in November of 2016, so it was almost a year ago.
So lately I have been in a bit of a rut and thought I would give myself a personal challenge. The parameters are pretty broad – the paintings just need to be watermedia. Watercolor, gouache, acrylic, ink, mixed media, whatever.
To get a little jump start, I’ve prepared some paper and panel supports. I really like starting with a surface that already has some color or marks on it for several reasons:
…I paint more loosely than when I start with a pristine white surface. This is probably related to the blank page paralysis that many people experience.
…a base tone with some texture to it gives me something to react to.
…colored paper for midtones with dark and white chalks is a classic drawing technique and a way of thinking that helps me organize my compositions.
I’m excited to get started. I have some new materials and heaps of ideas to try during the 30 days.
Thanks to curator Henry Biber for including three of my paintings in the current exhibit at the TVAA gallery, From the Mundane to the Specific. From his prospectus:
” Make the revisioning of commonplace objects worthy of display on a wall or a pedestal. A broken pot, worn old boots, antique dinnerware, the frayed arm of a chair, or a rusty part of a disassembled yard tool for example, can transform into something at home in a sphere beyond the ordinary. “
TVAA Downtown Gallery
Plaza of the Americas – Suite G-207
700 N Pearl,
Dallas, Texas 75201
So often an artist’s statement about their work contains a passage that begins “I have a passion for…..”. I’m a little jealous when I read things like that, because I have no overruling passion. It seems like absolutely everything is worthy of my attention. How do you pick and chose, how do you say no to a subject or a style of painting, that is just as attractive as any other?
I got a little insight when an artist friend posted this quote from John Cage on Facebook:
“When you start working,
Everybody is in your studio-
The art world,
And above all, your own ideas-all are there.
But as you continue painting,
They start leaving,
One by one,
And you are left completely alone.
Then if you’re lucky, even you leave.” John Cage
It’s that lucky experience of being totally in the flow that is my passion. Subject matter, medium, painting style, and all the rest, they could be anything. They could be chosen for other reasons.