Monday, July 29, 2019

Artist's Block revisited

It was back in May, 2017 that I wrote about Painter’s Block. I had it then.  I have it now.  Back then I cast about the Internet for other painters that were suffering from Painter’s Block.  I used their discussions to make a list of ‘reasons’ that might apply to me. I never did find a good match between their problems to my own situation.  All the analysis and list making didn’t help with my problem.

I have difficulty in getting started on the next painting.  No lack of ideas.  No lack of materials.  It is a paralysis of actually starting. Everything is ready to go and I would turn away from the easel.  I would sit down in my comfortable chair, and browse the internet or an art book.

I tried posting my problem on one of the art forums I follow.  “From Finished to Start” was the title of the thread.  No, it’s not backwards.  The problem I have exists in the space between the finish of the current painting and the start of the next one.  A few interesting posts but nothing I could use.  Another source warned me that other artist’s work methods wouldn’t work for me.

Having revisited this problem my subconscious must have been working overtime.  I may have found a solution.  I envisioned a painting that was very quick and very simple to start. Completing the middle stage requires little if any thought.  This stage of painting does need an enormous amount of effort and time to complete.  I can start or stop painting at any time.  I also don’t need a large block of time to be productive when painting this middle sequence.

I did start it and even worked on the middle state for a few minutes. I then set it aside so I could work on a pair of abstracts for the great room to flank the fireplace.  Got to work on the big abstract that Jill has requested.  And I also started on my third series of paintings.

Four projects on the go.  Painting every day now.  Loving it. The block is gone!  And what of the solution to my Artist’s Block painting you may ask?  It sits in the ready position, untouched.  Neglected and unneeded.  Gathering dust.  It is ready to move to the easel if required.  The thought of it being there is enough to ward off the dreaded Artist’s Block. 

I hope this mojo continues to work for me.  You or your muse may be able to conjure something like help you over your Artist’s Block.

Monday, June 17, 2019

A Tribute to Franz Kline

I’ve been suffering from a form of artist block for several years.  I have an abundance of ideas, but it is only with considerable effort that I can force myself to the art table and put brush to paper.  It is not too much effort to paint once I get going.  And finishing a painting proceeds at a good pace.

Unfortunately once completed, I will wait a month or three before forcing myself back to the table and another start.  The Internet is to blame to some extent.  Besides the e-mail and the regular websites I follow, I will revisit art sites and blogs from my bookmarks.  Sometimes this will kindle in me a desire to paint, but mostly it is a time waster.

Then I stumbled across a couple of images of some small abstract paintings that had been arranged in a grid.  Totally unbidden, the idea of “a tribute to Franz Kline” popped into my head. 

Let us get the record straight: I don’t like Franz Kline’s work.  I have looked over photographs of his work on on several occasions, but I never took a shine to it.  Until my muse kicked this idea into me, I had never even read his bio or looked at his Wikipedia page.

It is without a shadow of doubt that I can state that creating this collage/paste up was effortless.  I quickly figured out the size that individual drawing needed to be and produced a stack of 18 cards.  It seemed to take no time to locate the first 6 or 8 images and produce my own interpretation of the originals. The next few took a little more time.  The last four were a bit labored, taking as 3 or 4 times a long produce.

I mounted them in the same order that I ‘created’ them.  Top left being the first and bottom right being the last.  On reflection, #5 and #6, second row from the top, left-most and the drawing adjacent to it, look to be of the same subject.  It’s possible as I didn’t reference any of the previous drawings when producing the next one.  Having said that, #2 and #16 do appear to have been created from the same reference image.  I guess I just was very impressed with the Franz Kline original.

Individual drawings are 6 ¾ by 4 ¾ on Saunders Waterford 200# C.P. mounted on a full sheet of Saunders Waterford Bright White 200# Rough.


p.s. I’m almost finished with a second painting I started immediately after finished ‘A Tribute’.  It is early days, but perhaps my block has been overcome.