Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quilt of the land

Well, I've been on a bit of a emotional roller coaster lately with my painting.
At times I love painting...the actual act of painting when it's going right is addictive and empowering. Other times I just can't seem to get it right and I think I'm not really cut out for it after all. Yesterday I had the sudden desire to go out to the garage and paint something really, really well. I wanted to paint something that would, quite honestly, take my own breath away. I didn't go out as it was close to midnight and very cold in the garage- not conducive to good health or good painting! I woke up knowing I would paint today and couldn't wait to get out there and start and when I went out to add to the former Tuscany painting (Now Quilt of the Land) I looked at
my previous effort (directly above this line of text) I suddenly realised that my last effort wasn't as good as I had remembered! I had been quite happy to glide along almost aimlessly with this painting. I'd been very happy to just see how the paint flowed. I was happy with my colours blending into each other without much structure and no real discipline. I looked at the art of a pastelist yesterday and she was really, really good. She had complete control of her medium and she produced beautiful pictures. When I looked at my painting today I realised that in order to paint something well I had to take ownership of it and be the master of my paint. On reflection it does seem a little airy-fairy to have been willing to let lead me.
Instead of covering new ground I spent a lot of time correcting old lines, making colour changes and in general painting this 'quilt of the land' better than what I had done previously. I'm amazed at how much a little streak of paint the wrong colour in the wrong place can affect a painting and the same is true for well placed paint.
Today I went to an Art Exhibition and I was asked if I wanted to join the Tauranga Society of Artists. Now before you go and get all chuffed on my behalf I need to point out that this was purely on the basis of the fact that I am an artist and no one there has actually seen my work. I also need to point out that I politely said 'no thankyou.'
Why?? That would be a good question. Ultimately I think it's because I'm not where I want to be an artist. I haven't quite found my voice yet. To say I painted something really well, or to have others say it is fantastic. I still get satisfaction from seeing my final Tuscany, I painted it well if I may say so myself!! Lol and I still get great feedback on it, these comments feed me, they really do and I need them and because it helps me to know that the painting has made a connection with the viewer and that it has become more than decorative...it's become a piece of art. Funny how a lot of people have tried to tell me that it wasn't just decorative (when I say it's only decorative) yet I've only just realised it...It makes the painting seem less shallow and materialistic to me. Yet, it's not enough what I really want is to be able to express things with paint the way I can with collage and to address subjects that really matter to me...when I've done that I will be where it is I want and need to be. I don't know if I will be a society kind of girl though...
I will finish this painting, it expresses my love for this earth and it's teaching me important lessons about myself. This love affair with pain,t as I am realising, truly is for better or for worse.
PS: My apologies for the cruddy photos, the light was poor and my camera's had it's day.
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Mick said...

What struck me here is the realization and declaration that you had been "willing to let (the paint) lead me". I often think learning to control ones' tools is like learning to dance. At first, you let your partner lead you. Later, when all the steps have been learnt and internalized, you begin to really step out. Be happy and thank the paint for leading you this far.

Irene said...

Whatever you're doing and why and how, I think it's wonderful and daring and that's the point, isn't it? You owe the painting and you decide what happens to it. We just join you in looking at it and enjoying the process of its creation. Isn't it nice to be bold and make new statements? It can be so liberating.

dianeclancy said...

Hi Lisa,

I know what you mean about sometimes being in the flow and other times not ... also I love when I can let the painting lead me!!

I wanted you to know about my blog give-away

~ Diane Clancy

The Artful Eye said...

Lisa-try not to put too much thought into it. Let the process continue as it has so far. You'll know when you're done with the painting and you'll step away. I'm actually surprised you passed on this opportunity. You don't give yourself enough credit. You are an artist and have proved this time and time again with all your wonderful collages, assemblage, mixed-media projects,woven nests and wonderful photos. If it's not too late I'd still join the group.

Your quilt landscape is coming along. If you feel stuck, step away for awhile and work on something else for awhile.

We all feel the disconcerting blues sometimes and have moments that flow or don't flow. It doesn't mean we are not artists.

Keep painting, please! I still owe you polymer instruction. Haven't forgotten. Time.

John said...

I am constantly frustrated when I do my still lives of beautiful women mud wrestling. There is so much mud to apply and remove and then the light goes so we jsut end up doing tequila shots until the garage studio gets cold.

Like you I am just trying to get it right.

I like your canvas. Be the paint.

I will be the mud.

Neda said...

Lisa, you express so well the joys and frustrations that we all share deep down. I am often scared and unsure of my work and it is only when I "forget" myself that I am most happy.. Believe in yourself for you are truly an artist. Have faith and keep on creating!

Sorry...still overseas and trying to catch up :)

Anonymous said...

Well, I admire you for sticking with it. I have to admit, I would have just chucked a painting I didn't like and taken pleasure in the shredding of it (yes, I've done that and yes, I do feel better afterwards). But...having said that you've made me stop and think about the whole creating/recreating process. I can tell you in all honesty, I like this painting better now, than before. I like the abstract element it has now, I "feel" it more. Good work Lisa, and thanks for making us all think.

Bobbie said...

Well...I can only add that I love where the "Paint" led you. This painting is full of power now :)