The purpose of my daily painting and drawing practice is to encourage free experimentation and exploration, expand my vocabulary, fail often, follow my curiosity, exercise my creative muscle and give ideas an opportunity to emerge. I took a long break from it and re-entry has been rough. I think in large part because I started selling some of the little paintings I made. Lots of them. That is on my mind now each time I start and I’m less inclined to try stuff. I feel all clenched up about whether or not I can sell what I make that day and If I don’t make a painting I can sell I feel like I have failed. I love making and selling the little paintings and I will keep doing that but I’m separating the daily practice. Letting that just be a place for ideas and experiments.
And I’m using a sketchbook from now on ( I was using sheets of water color paper). This was the first week and I like it so far. The page in the book is a commitment, no starting over.
I also like the idea of filling it up and making the practice more portable. I have lots of travel coming up and I’m determined not to take any more breaks. I’ll scale back on supplies when I’m traveling. I’m also making the commitment manageable, 30 minutes and one page every day.
I’ll post all this week’s pages here tomorrow.
There are things that make my life and brain work better. Sketchbook – painting and drawing everyday, whether I want to or not, is one of them. So my daily practice is back. And I have three hopes for it:
1. That I can be consistent – that I build a solid enough habit that it doesn’t fall apart when I get extra busy.
2. That it leads me into larger work – my original intention was to turn the experiments I like into larger pieces – paintings, illustrations – maybe even fabric, I’ve yet to do that. I find the idea terribly intimidating.
3. And to increase my success rate. Last time I made 511 little squares. When I started I had no plans to sell them but I felt good enough about some of them to offer them in the shop. Only about 10% made the cut. As I begin the practice again I’m doing it with the awareness that I intend to sell some of them and it does change my feelings about making them. I think I’m much less likely to phone it in when I’m feeling lazy or distracted. It’s a little extra pressure I think I need. Series 2 paintings will begin to be available sometime this month. You can sign up here if you’d like an email notification.
After some initial misery and resistance and a lovely mix of self flagellation, anxiety and doubt I’m finding some rhythm and building a routine again. I did a few things to remove obstacles – make it easy for myself to show up. I spend some time Sunday cutting up the squares (hot press water color paper) so they are ready to go. And I make marks on some of them – splatter ink, scribble something or paint a background color – in case the blank paper is too much. So helpful. My paints and other supplies are organized and easy to get to. And ideally I like to start after 10 minutes of deliberate day dreaming – it usually puts me in the right brain place – a receptive place. So does my sound app – still Wind through Pines – it’s magic for me.
You can find my first week back at it here and I’ll post each week on Saturday. So far goats and pigeons are very much on my mind…….
Updated – I’ve just added about 20 more to the shop – the last of series 1.
For the first time ever – there are paintings in the shop – little paintings – things I created over a period of about a year and a half as part of my daily art practice. I took what was intended to be a short break from that practice in August – and you know how that sort of thing goes – I never resumed. I miss it – and I’m planning to start again in 2017 – still working out the details of exactly what the will be.
The little works are paint and pencil (occasionally some collage) on hot press paper or bristol – 4 and 1/2 X 4 and 1/2 inches and they arrives boxed.
Of the 511 little paintings I made I’m choosing my favorites for the shop – I’ve added twenty today and if this works out I’ll add more.
Letting go of them is a little painful. I’ve changed my mind about it several times but ultimately concluded that what I need from them stays with me and I would very much like to put paintings and drawings out into the world.
Click here to see all available the paintings.
I made this painting for the class I’m taking with Lilla Rogers Studio. My assignment this week was to create wall art in a limited palette and incorporating at least one word and botanical imagery. I made myself miserable for 24 hours and then I had a marvelous time for 24 hours.
And see you in 2013. I’ll be back on New Year’s day (postponed for at least a day or two- I’ve got the flu) with the details on my new year long drawing/painting project. I’ve continued to poke around in my old painting and drawing files as I get ready for my new experiment and I’ll leave you with one of my favorites.
circus parade painting ann wood 2004
(you can click the photo for a larger image)
I hope your holidays are lovely,
I used to draw and paint a lot.
merriwether lewis 2005 (after the Charles Willson Peale portrait)
west side water park 2005
illustration for film poster 2005
And my begining here, this blog, was making marks on paper – the cardboard horse project.
And then all of a sudden I was sewing. A lot. And as I sewed more and more the drawing and painting went away. I miss that kind of work and that kind of expression but even though I feel inspired in that direction I keep not doing it. It is very easy not to. So I’m making it mandatory and planning a project in the 2 dimensional world for 2013. I have figured out what it’s going to be, the focus, and I’m excited about it but I’m still working out the particulars of how I’m going to share it – when I get that figure out I’ll tell you all about it.
I’m making a few collages and paintings for an ad job, in the little painting above an armadillo and his kitten friend sail the high seas.
I made this painting a little while ago for Partners & Spade.
You can see it installed in the mantle in the NY Times today or in person at 40 Great Jones Street in New York.
I thought they looked pretty this morning.
My mural is finished and installed at a soon to be open restaurant called Home (20 Cornelia St. between Bleecker and West 4th). If you’re in the West Village you can go say hello to the peaceful goats and have a glass of wine. Here it is being installed.
And the previous day being inspected by the willet before getting packed up to go.
I’m painting a landscape mural this week working from pictures I took last week upstate at Olana and Clermont. I recomend visiting both, even though it was hot as balls I had a fabulous time. Here is some of the scarey looking underpainting.
This is the first 3 feet or so. The entire painting will be about 8 feet long and 30 inches high. When it’s done and installed I’ll let you know where. Here is the same section with the first of many color layers and a few details begun including some peaceful goats sketched in.
I haven’t painted anything in a long time and I’m way, out of practice and slow. Starting anything, especially large-ish projects and most especially painting, always makes me unreasonably anxious. This one gave me hives. I’m very happy in the middle of things but don’t care so much for the beginning or end.
She is a springtime jolly and she went to Cog and Pearl here in Brooklyn yesterday with some other little birds.
Hope everybody who had a holiday had a nice one. This little painting /drawing is part of something I was doing a while ago and abandoned but started thinking about again this weekend.
And I re- did the sprinkler painting.