Friday, September 12, 2014

Unexpected Results

I just got back from spending 5 days painting in Portland, Oregon with Jesse Reno. If you want to loosen up, I definitely recommend taking a class from him.

This was a promised break from teaching, writing my book and my daily routine. It had been weeks since I had been able to paint with abandon - no deadline, no expectations....except one. I expected to push myself to resist over working, let go and embrace the raw marks. This is my 3rd year and I keep returning because I always take something new away and I relish being able to paint with a group of like minded folks. Normally I paint in relative isolation, as I am sure many artists do, but every so often I need to create with others. I finished (I think) 3 pieces during the 5 days. I love the first piece, even though it is pretty close to my usual paintings. I worked on 3 separate 16 x20" boards separately, then shuffled them until I could see the possiblilites. 
Here is how they started:

Finished....It can be displayed like this, but also like the process photo above.

The second painting went a bit faster as it started with a ground I had done previously....
The start...I gave it to Jesse to do his thing first.

Not loving it....I basically painted what Jesse had started, so I flipped it upside down and kept going...

finish..."Tonic" to my tired brain!
My breakthrough piece happened so fast that I did not get progress photos. I found a concert poster outside the studio on a phone pole and added it in with my paint. The figure just emerged.
I wanted to refine the face, but resisted, keeping it pretty raw.
It was 5 days of unexpected results and pushing past my usual urges to pretty things up. 
There is great value in pushing yourself to move past your comfort zone. 

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more 

painful than the risk it took to blossom.” 

― Ana├»s Nin

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