Saturday, January 17, 2015

Working habits

I have noticed a pattern after all these years (yes, I'm slow at picking these things up) of deadlines and downtimes.  I have a really important show or shows, I work for a few months committed, putting in tons of time, energy, research, work, etc.  The work is finally delivered, the reception has passed and I'm back in the studio.  For almost two weeks I go to the easel and I simply cannot paint.  CANNOT PAINT - WILL NOT paint LOL!  I get sick to my stomach when I think about it.  I have to take time off.  I have to get in my left brain and catch up or do absolutely nothing.  It's a very physical thing.  I just can't do it.  I have tried so many times to work through this to no avail.  Then slowly, I start mentally creating my next body of work.  I draw some thumbnails, make some new compositions out of my photography and studies, start to prepare.  I always have a new piece in mind with a freshly mounted linen panel staring at me.  Here I go, 1, 2, 3 GO....  No, really, here we go....   New piece coming.....really.....
Not so fast.  Panel comes off the easel.  Every time!  I look around and some other piece of older work is screaming at me "pick me, pick me".  Ok, just one more thing to change.  I'll just rework a part of it.  Before you know it, I have completely reworked an older painting.  Never fails, I do this every single time I start a new session.  I have no idea what this is about.  I'm sure there is some psychological reason why I can't begin a new painting after a break, but I can't for the life of me figure it out.  I have to do a search and destroy piece first.  I think this has been going on for ten years now.  And every time it is not intentional.  It just happens.  Well, here it is, happened again and I might not even be ready for a new piece today.  When the mood strikes.....
This is a piece from the Bitterroot Valley, done two years ago.  I always like the painting but I didn't love the painting.  I loved the high key, I loved the peacefulness, but the composition always felt off.  Out goes the right group of trees, create a few more paths through the piece, a little of this and a little less of that.... I think I'm happy now :)  I think....  




  1. me thinks is is very beautiful... and the color warmth adds greatly to it's serenity. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I have the same problem,you’re not alone in your struggle! Great work!