Saturday, February 7, 2009
Work in Progress
This is a view of the studio with new work in progress, in various stages of completion. I am learning patience. The layers of oil paint need time to dry so that I can build up texture and luminosity. I find I enjoy this part of the process, it forces me to take time to breathe, to watch and listen. It can be frustrating too, as I often really want to keep working on a painting. Sometimes I know exactly where it needs to go, but I know it needs it's own time to wait and germinate. Then the ideas and associations germinate as I wait and watch. Time is a seductive element in the work, as each brushstroke represents a moment in time, each layer a practice in patience.
The largest piece shown here, 36x36, is one which I started a few sessions ago. At this stage, I just need to get the paint on the canvas, I'm not so concerned with where the imagery is going. The other two small ones are much further along. I usually work on 4 or 5 paintings at a time, as I wait for the layers to dry.
Poetry is a tool I use to help guide my paintings. The poems are a deep and subtle influence on the imagery, color palette, and/or mood. I have selected Pablo Neruda's poetry to inspire these three paintings. I often take the poems with me when I walk in the desert and reflect on the work in progress. Everything goes into a painting: the sunrise, the moonlight, the mountains, the music I listen to, the poetry, the fragrance of the wind.