preparations

So I’m taking the night off painting to do some drudge work. Maybe “drudge” isn’t the right word. I’m prepping for a show in 2 days at East Village Books in the East Village of Des Moines downtown. A nice place to be sure (http://www.eastvillagebooks.com/). They’ve got some great artwork on display and I’m excited to be their feature this month. I’m hoping for great things Friday. I’ve got a new run of prints coming and they’ll need to be signed, titled, number, placed on backing board and then into some protective bags. Not the most creative stuff, but it does provide a nice mental break from the constant painting. Sometimes you just need to let your brain flush out a little. Get some perspective. Get caught up. Get thinking about the next piece.

I tend to work from photographs I’ve taken. Sometimes I use Photoshop to make adjustments to the images (ie: crop, enhance colors, contrast, etc). Sometimes I just use the image as-is and make my adjustments as I paint. Depends upon how satisfied I am with the original image. It’s not like the final piece is ever intended to be a faithful reproduction so I don’t find myself getting too nitpicky. When I start on the canvas I usually rough something out w/ a big carpenter’s pencil or charcoal. The composition and elements will change and shift as the piece progresses so, again, I’m not overly concerned about making a nice, finished drawing. I prefer to let the paint do the talking. I work loosely within my rough drawing. I begin by getting the general areas of light and dark laid out. Then the larger areas of color are put into place. Then I start playing around w/ the major elements. I tweak position, size, color, and shape until I find a composition that really strikes me. Odds are it’ll all change again before it’s over, but’s it’s all part of the process and that’s what I really love.

I paint late at night and alone. I like the quiet and privacy. Especially because I can really let myself go. I listen to music of all kinds. I let it drive me and infuse me with rythm and energy. I sway. I talk to myself. I catch myself singing and sometimes even dancing. If i’m working big I get very physical with my work. While laying out “Twilight in Chicago” (the image included in this post) I went after the canvas so fervently I worked up a sweat. Painting can be exercise, right? Thus the deep and abiding interest in privacy. God forbid that ever end up on youtube or something ~8)
On the other hand….

Time to go make the backing boards.
Cheers,
R

~ by Robert L Reeves on September 11, 2008.

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