I’m in the midst of a new painting right now and hope to finish it in the next week or two and upon finishing, it always takes me back to the question of, “What to paint next?”
I am thrilled to even be confronted by this quandary.
I have always loved art, loved to draw and loved to paint. In my teenage years, I actually contemplated going the route of an artist but knew how difficult it would be to actually make a living creating art. I was good, but certainly not great. So I focused my creative talents more on writing, pursuing a career in advertising, which, to me, was all about the power of ideas and represented a perfect blend of words and pictures, coming together to help sell more product or services.
I’m still creating advertising and marketing communications, still learning and I believe my best work is still in front of me.
So that’s good from the writer’s perspective.
Yet I still love to paint, even though I went on a serious hiatus back in 1996 when we converted what had been my painting room into a downstairs bedroom. I had been utilizing a combination of airbrush and acrylic paint and had grown accustomed to painting on rather large canvases. The fact that I no longer had any room to work on those large canvases or the proper ventilation needed for doing airbrush work in effect, shut me down and I had vowed that I would paint again either once we moved or once the kids moved out of our current house and I could reclaim a new painting spot.
Tom Jr. gave me a whack on the side of the head two Father’s Days ago when he presented me with two small canvases and some acrylic jars of paint and issued me the challenge to resume painting again on a smaller scale.
Turns out, it was the best Father’s Day gift I have ever received.
It took me a while to get going.
I couldn’t decide what to paint. That’s always the problem.
What to paint next.
I decided I would paint a ladder leaning up against a house. Why, I have no idea. When I sketched it out on the little bitty 8″ x 10″ canvas, it seemed totally pointless.
So I removed the house and just had the ladder angled against nothing out in a field of grass with some very crude looking clouds in the sky. That created a sense of mystery, a sense of, “why?”
It wasn’t a very good painting. http://www.bloodlinescreative.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/A-step-up-217×300.jpg
But it served as a re-introduction to canvas and paint. And it got me going again.
These days, the largest painting I have done is 30″ x 24″. The airbrush is gone and it’s all either brush work or a palette knife.
I continue to explore some of the fundamental ideas of Rene Magritte who, to me, is the most phenomenal painter I have ever been exposed to simply because of his ability to challenge conventional thinking. He painted what seemed to be real, though it could never be real. His talent was immense. No one has ever done clouds the way Magritte can do clouds.
More important, in the words of Rene, “The art of painting is an art of thinking, and its existence emphasizes the importance to life of the human body’s eyes; the sense of sight is actually the only one concerned in painting. The goal of the art of painting is to perfect sight through a pure visual perception of the exterior world by means of sight alone.”
So determining what to paint next is never an easy decision.
I approach painting similar to how I read books. I never start in on a new one until I’m finished with what is there before me.
Time to get back to my current work in progress.
If you would like to see a full range of some of my paintings, I invite you to explore https://www.pinterest.com/bloodlines/paintings/