FINDING A FIGURE WITHIN
Being in Mississippi for Art Colony is an intense, stimulating,inspiring, hilarious, heart-warming, exhausting experience. There is a tremendous power just being in a place where 40 or so accomplished artists gather to work individually but together. Each one works on their own projects but there is consultation and support and exploration-a synergy, if you will- unlike any you can ever find on your own. It’s a growth experience that you can’t get in the solitude of one’s own studio.
For me, it is an opportunity to paint larger than I usually do. This means wielding a canvas that is 5′ high and 4′ wide. I feel a freedom for exploration and discovery that is hard to summon all by myself. Knowing that this is a unique opportunity, I decided to throw caution to the wind and committed myself to the best learning experience I could have.
I began the large painting with pouring and dripping paint onto the canvas while I tilted it in different directions to help the paint run. After several layers, I discerned a figure, wearing a hat, seated on a ball. In order to see it better, I used white to outline it.
I consulted with our teacher/artist, Noah Saterstrom, who suggested I protect that image as I added more layers to the painting, so I covered it with blue painter’s tape. I continued
to add layers of paint to the canvas as well as shapes, blending and dripping as I went. While protecting the form of the figure, the tape created other problems. I think I was unconsciously pulled by the blue of the tape as the colors I added were all some shade of blue. It also meant that the figure would be isolated from the rest of the picture and I would have to work to integrate it into the overall image. I soon removed the tape and began that process.
This is where I’ve left it, just for the moment, as it continues to build. More in the next installment. What does it look like to you? What direction might you take it from here?