Sometimes when I think about making art I remember things I painted in the past so today I’m going to share some of them. I can’t share everything. A lot of my photos were lost when I had a hard drive crash a few years ago… backing up to a hard drive sounds great but its not fail proof… I guess I could learn to use the cloud, but haven’t yet. Luckily a lot of my old photos are still on my blog in past posts, and on my website – http://www.zefiart.com.
The main thing I was thinking about my art was how easily I get distracted from painting or drawing given its always been something I do so easily. I literally have no idea how I do it, it just comes out of my hands and fingers on its own, the art takes over my brain and takes control of my hand. In fact, if I overthink things I mess up. I have to let the painting itself take over and just go with the flow.
Over the years I found the way I work best is with the TV on something I don’t have to watch closely. The Gilmore Girls is one of my favourite paint-to shows. The Ranch is next. Having the TV on splits my focus between what I’m doing and what I’m watching and allows me to take a step back from the painting.
In a way, this is what my first art teacher, Mr Swan (in Campion School in Athens when I was a teenager) taught me. He made me draw without my glasses so I couldn’t see the details. If I could see details I’d get caught up in them and mess up the ‘whole’. He told me how Degas was going blind and that explained a lot about his work, which is brilliant – allowing us to fill in the details he describes so well without actually painting them.
I am constantly trying to work that way.
I also like to live with my work in progress. I’ve always loved painting in my living space. I know I go on and on about wanting a studio and workshop, but what I’m really saying is I want a workshop to do dirty work in (power tools, making stuff) and a studio to live in. If I had a bigger house the living room would be similar to here now, but with space to keep my easel out all the time. Its what I used to do in Australia. That way the work was there and I could see it all the time, no matter what I was doing.
This is how I tend to work: I start something. At some point I hate it and stop in disgust. I leave it and do something else. Sometimes I’ll watch TV, other times I’ll move on to another project. The whole time its there… my subconscious is working on it. Sometimes even when I hate it and don’t want to work on it I can’t keep myself away. I’ll stop and sit down, then get up and do a bit here, a bit there, stop, sit down, get up again. Or I’ll stop for days and then suddenly I’ll change a line here, add a smudge there and it all comes together. That process is necessary for me.
Right now I want to paint, I do sometimes paint on pieces of marble and I have some small cardboard pieces I’ve prepped to paint on, all things I can do on the table… But I long for the easel again…
So enjoy looking at some of the artwork above. I know I do. And every time I do, I marvel at what I created. It may sound strange, but I really do. At how I got the feathers on the birds to look like feathers without thinking about how to do it. I marvel at how something like that came out of my fingers. I am grateful for the gift I was given.