Sunday, 5 April 2009

Some glimpses at works in (slow) progress



I've never posted images of unfinished paintings and I have some qualms about doing it. I have my own concept of the 'skin' of a painting---and until I have achieved that skin, a cohesive visual and tactile surface, I don't show my work. 
Still, the paintings I'm working on now are telling ME what they want and they are taking their sweet time doing so!
 I keep regular studio hours every day. I'd anticipated being finished with these long ago. But this process has been fascinating--- and that is why I'm letting myself give you a midcourse report.
 Besides, I'm going to Santa Barbara, California tomorrow for a five-day business trip, so there'll be a pause in painting. And maybe that'll be a good thing, though it means more delay in finishing.
I've relearned two contradictory lessons:
Lesson one: Don't pick a painting subject that presents tasks you're not interested in! Here, it's the inclusion of strict geometry in objects. It's one thing to pick a subject for sketching that isn't intrinsically interesting to you--a sketch is not a big time commitment. In this case, I fell in love with the cloud reflections in a swimming pool in Texas, and the way a pair of butterfly chairs there, also reflected in the water, seemed to float in space.  I decided to paint the scene, without analyzing the pictoral problems inherent in it. I need to always keep in mind what it is that engages me as a painter--- illusionistic representation of objects and space is not it. Oops.
Lesson two: Be receptive to new experience and accept that the honing of paintings skills of all kinds is useful---and fun. So, I'm enjoying this self-imposed task---when I'm not throwing things at it;D. Here are the two things I'm working on, seen in the context of my studio.


I've enjoyed the Iceland rock and water paintings the most of all the water paintings I've done so far. To try to convey the energy and shapes of rushing water is thrilling, allowing for a level of abstraction that I find very challenging to define and produce.  The one on the left is the one I'm now working on. The one on the right is my favorite of this series so far, because it combines abstraction with energy and it has a good skin! The one on the left is less abstract. Not sure where it'll end up, but we'll find out!
Here's a detail of the pool painting. I am so eager to start my colorful, nongeometric, calligraphic koi paintings, but I want to finish these first. They're worth completing.

9 comments:

vivien said...

They certainly ARE worth completing

The pool is wonderfully clear and watery and the in progress works are so full of movement and energy

I've occasionally posted WIP's as I go and as they are subject to huge changes they are a bit scary to do I agree!

They look great together - the concept hangs together really well

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Laura - thank you for showing us your work in progress.

I think it looks like you've started what could be a really interesting series - exhibition-worthy!

To be honest I value the lessons learned en route as much as the ones that turn out OK. After all the lessons learned can be used again and again.

That cropping in to what you're really interested in is such an important one.

muddy red shoes said...

wow! these look great, what size are they? Your studio looks brill too. How good it is to see more of your paintings, I love your sketches but I really love the big paintings... and I have just made a Koi Carp pool in my little garden so I am very excited about seeing the Koi paintings develop.

A Brush with Color said...

They're all wonderful--I love the water rushing over the rocks, but that painting of the chairs and pool/reflections is excellent!

Lindsay said...

I love it when paintings "talk" it's just that I wish they arrived with someone to interpret;>)

Funny how studio hours sometimes have nothing to do with output.

They are building beautifully so far.

Fee Dickson said...

Really interesting post. I actually love the one with the hairs reflected in the pool - just to be unhelpful!

Jeanette said...

These are fabulous Laura. Its good to push yourself out of the comfortable chair that we all settle into. I think your fears are ungrounded and your ability (as well as the painting's cooperation) is there. The form and function are shining through.

These all have instant 'water' appeal. The rushing water is very effective, but so is the swimming pool. Each poses its own challenge in creation. Good things take time.

spiderink said...

I love this detail. You can almost feel the watery pool beneath the foliage. I'm looking forward to seeing finish if you plan to post it.

D'Rimba said...

My dear friend, I already add the translator button into my blog above the poem book at the right side of the blog.