Friday, May 14, 2010

Finding the Painter Again

 Quiet Afternoon
20 x 20

I've spent the past several weeks - okay, months - struggling with my work.  Nothing quite pleased me.
I tried: different supports: copper, board, smooth, rough; different undertones: bright, earthy, neutral;  different methods of applying paint: thin and transparent, palette-knife heavy; and I've tried different colours.  Heaps of paint were sacrificed every day and there wasn't much to show for it. 
But, in the past couple of weeks, I feel like I've gotten my groove back.  It's not the same groove - my palette and application have changed somewhat - but it's related, and boy, does it feel good.
It seems now that the struggle was necessary for me to produce new and confident work. 
Not that much has changed on the outside; I added a couple of new colours to my palette and reduced my use of others and I experimented with new subject matter.  But on the inside, I feel like a different painter.  Having tried so many techniques and styles, I have been able to rule out a lot of options as "just not right for me".   Now I can move forward knowing that, while there are a lot of other ways to paint, I've tried many of them and have discovered (or rediscovered) the one that pleases me the most. 
That's a relief!


Nita Leger Casey said...

I didn't not know ,the old you was gone ! I think you were still there , and you are still here , I love your style!
guess what today I painted on copper !
Just one question , did you seal it first?
and what about varnish? I am doing it for fun right now , because I am trying to concentrate on my watercolors .

Ingrid Christensen said...

Cool! I'm glad you're trying it out. It's a great surface.
Here is the site that I used for my technical information on copper:
I hope you'll post your copper paintings.

Nora Kasten said...

So, Ingrid, what support did you finally decide you liked the most? I like your work.

Ingrid Christensen said...

Hi Nora.
I've decided on canvas, and very smooth canvas at that. The next step will probably be linen.

Mostly, though, I've figured out a new way of working my colours and paint consistencies. My palette feels like it has more emotional possibilities now than it did before, and I've gotten more control over the thicker passages of paint.
It feels good to enjoy work again!

Dean H. said...

Glad you have found your artistic groove for now! I think most of us are on that search. That's part of being an artist.

Your work is exciting.

Ingrid Christensen said...

Love that "for now," Dean. It's so true. There are these excruciating periods quite regularly in an artist's career. That knowledge kept me slogging on while I was in the middle of it.
Perseverance counts!

Dana Cooper said...

Ingrid, I happened upon your work by way of Dean Haven, and I love it. Your figurative work appeals to me greatly...I'm looking forward to more!

Ingrid Christensen said...

Thanks for having a look, Dana.
I enjoyed looking at your blog site as well.
Your painterly style is right up my alley.