Day 16: If you’ve painted for sixteen days straight without any tears, is it really painting?

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“Yellow Cypress” 12×24, oil on panel. [creativ_button url=”×24-oil-panelboard/” icon=”” label=”Buy Now” colour=”blue” colour_custom=”” size=”medium” edge=”straight” target=”_self”]

Today I put my head in my paint-stained hands, and I had a good cry at my dining room table. I’ve got three paintings on the easel none of which I can quite figure out how to resolve. I hear it. The painting-is-a-problem-to-be-solved BS I find myself using when I am most frustrated. There is not one solution, something I reflected a lot on in day 1

I could say something like “none of which has reached the harmony I’m looking for” or “none of which are quite finished” but adjusting my language is only the first step. I’ve got some mental gymnastics left to do. I want results, dammit! I don’t have time for paintings that just “don’t work out”.  Exploration is a great guiding concept until you feel up against a clock (one wholly arbitrary and of my own creation, I might add). 

So here’s my day 16 painting. Last week I was in Bogue Falaya park and had my eye on one particular cypress tree whose form and colors impressed me. She was, of course, in a sea of other trees, but I wondered what would happen if I isolated just her on a canvas. This is the result. I’m not currently in a place to really assess how I feel about it yet. But it most certainly was an exploration. I used a gesso-board which is firmer than canvas, and ,much like the aqua board I used for the piano player on day 13, it drew out all the moisture from my paint. This time though, I used my trusty palette knife. The paint just kind of sits on top the surface, doesn’t smear into it. I’m not ready to say how I feel about the final result, but tomorrow you might catch me in a better mood. One can dream. 

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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

October 16, 2017

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