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.


Katia Shtefan said...

It is good to hear that Neruda continues to inspire people all over the world with this words. If you really like him, check out Red Poppy at It's a non-profit set up to create a documentary biographical film about Neruda and to translate his works into English.

Diane McGregor said...

Dear Katia, Neruda has been a continual source of inspiration for me for decades. His work and his words are inexhaustible. I checked out Red Poppy, and your blog as well - I look forward to following your year in Santiago.

Dianne said...

Dear Diane,
I so enjoy getting a peep into an artist's studio, thanks for sharing your workspace.
It is interesting to hear how poetry inspires you, thanks to the link above, I will have a look at Neruda's work.