|Pewter and Reds|
20 x 16
The title of my blog is "A Painter's Progress" and, while I've progressed since I began writing it years ago, it's never been a linear progression. There are nearly as many backward steps as forward ones, and each requires me to stop and reevaluate my process and aesthetic before I can resolve it. That sounds so optimistic and simplistic. What actually happens is that good paintings just stop flowing out of my brush, sometimes for weeks on end, and I can't figure out why. As the paintings keep failing, I keep bashing away at them from different angles: Different subject? Bigger paintings? Or smaller? Brighter? More muted? Much paint is applied and scraped off.
It's taken a while to figure out this latest impasse and to discover what's changed in my approach to painting, but I finally nailed it: I'm using a lot more paint and richer colours, That has changed everything. The paint consistencies that I had nailed down no longer feel right at this point in my development, which means that I've had to learn a new technique. It's based firmly in the old one, but it relies less on thin layers and more on big, luscious paint. And white has been relegated to a less prominent role.
New work is flowing again, and I find that the intensive, frustrating period of thinking and experimenting has taught me a lot and made me excited to explore new avenues. It's hard won, and it is progress!