I've been working on these two paintings for quite a bit longer than I'd like. Painting lately has become a push-pull struggle between too dark and too light/bright, where a work will goes through several stages before settling in. However, both of these were way too bright and busy for my tastes. A frenzy with some black paint ended up making them better in some ways but worse in others, so last night I took my good friend the fan brush and made them white and wispy.
I'm no longer afraid of the end result, but I do feel as though a bit more black paint, and then some judicial use of acrylics, might save them. I'll post more pictures as they develop, but 98% of the work is in my head, trying to figure out exactly where to apply the brush before it happens.
I sent this painting to a friend for Christmas and they loved it so much that a friend of their friend wanted one just like it. Well, 'just.'
I've been feeling inspired by the various paint/draw this again challenges that ask you to take an older piece of work, something seminal that you felt represented your best at the time, and redo it now. It's a great way for artists to judge the distance between their old work and their current ability. Sure, I painted this in November 2014--just over a year ago. Yet, I saw one in my mind's eye that had some improvements done.
I've mentioned before that it's hard to capture the acrylic sheen on my oil + metallic acrylic paintings. This is still true. However, this painting represented my best work at the time, and a technique that I first tried in college--painting something that appears to be coming out of or going into the white space of the canvas.
Here's the result:
I wanted to play more with the idea of light bands, so I used a fan brush over the main architecture in the bottom left-hand corner. I also wanted there to be more artifacts, so I added blue circles by spinning a small brush and pink lines with the fan brush as well as a highlight brush.
When it's dry, I'll add acrylic details similar to Memoria's and clean up the dining room table so it's not a mess of computer parts and paintings.
It's not enough. It's not good enough. There isn't enough. I'm not good enough. Not fast enough. Enough people didn't see it. I've had enough.
I've been going through my submission deadline database with dread, looking at the files that have not yet been published by any lit mag, of all sorts--poetry, high-resolution jpegs, prose, photographs of my paintings. It seems like a tiny, amateurish body of work...because the negativity muse has come. She's the antithesis of your creative muse. Her voice grates on you and she does nothing but complain, but whenever she comes around again, your reasons for not dropping her as a friend seem feeble and unprincipled, so you make polite sounds in between her monologues of bitchery.
That's how I feel, sitting here with that annoying harpy, who wants me to trash my work and retire from having any creative impulses. But I know I don't want that, so I'm trying to stay positive.
Today I plan on retiring some of my work that hasn't been successful in the submission rounds, beginning the long process of putting art on DeviantArt in my portfolio or putting writing in my proverbial scrap folder (but not the trash). The fact that I've outgrown or stopped advocating for certain work should be a sign that I've learned, progressed, and developed, not that I suck.
Take that, negativity muse!