Surreal and Nearly There

I think I mentioned last week that I was going to have an empty house for the weekend. It did actually happen and I had an empty house for the entire weekend. That’s never happened before. I’m a proud parent and LOVE spending time with my boys, but even the best of us need a break. It was well worth it in my opinion although Friday night and Saturday morning were a bit on the surreal side. I didn’t sleep much Thursday night so I wound up wanting a nap around 9:00pm Friday. I set my alarm for 10:30 so I could hit the studio refreshed. Instead I awoke around 2:30am. Unable to get back to sleep I made some coffee and hit the studio. I painted from about 3:00 until about 6:30-7:00. The time was incredibly productive and I wouldn’t mind trying that schedule again assuming I can start going to bed around 9:00pm. I wound up staying up until 2:30 Sunday morning. Go figure.
I painted Saturday and Sunday nights as well. I feel like this Chicago piece is nearly completed. One of the big breakthroughs was the realization that the taxi cab that had been dominating the foreground just wasn’t working. It was serving the purpose of adding some depth, but it wasn’t meshing with the composition as a whole. Add to that I just couldn’t seem to get it to come together as an object. In short it was pissing me off so it went away (you can still see remnants of it that will be covered with successive layers of paint).
I’ve been working from photos almost since the beginning. I used to paint them verbatim.. within my developing style, that is. Then one of my painting profs at UNI said to me, “These are good, but what are you really doing with the image? Are you making it your own or just copying what you see?”. That really struck me and has stayed with me all these years. It was then that I truly learned that subject matter isn’t sacred. Whether you’re painting from life, photos, or whatever make your subject yours. Give it your own twist and don’t get too hung up on the details.
In other news I did wind up getting a piece accepted into the Polk County Heritage Gallery show this month. It’s a gorgeous venue and I’m sure to be in some very good company. Can’t wait! I got some other potentially very cool art news this weekend too. It’s only a maybe at this point, but I’m excited all the same. I’ll divulge what it is only if it becomes a reality. Don’t want to jinx it.
Hopefully in my next post I will be able to show you a finished piece.
Until then,



One response to “Surreal and Nearly There”

  1. ching Avatar

    hi R, enjoy reading your post on how you paint. and you describe the details well. And, congratulations with the upcoming show in Folk County Heritage Gallery! cheers! ching

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