Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Back to Painting

I haven't completed a painting since late November. In fact, until yesterday an unfinished work had sat on my work board since Thanksgiving, waiting for me to finish it. But for some reason I couldn't. I'd walk by it every day and make a mental note to myself to pick up the brushes and get to work. But it just didn't call to me; I just wasn't inspired. What I had completed - perhaps half - looked fine. Yet it just didn't "call to me" in the way so many of my paintings have "urged" me to pull the finished image from the paper. So yesterday I pulled the painting from the board and filed it away - to be completed someday, maybe, if I feel compelled to rescue it from its unfinished state.

Was it the painter's equivalent of writer's block that kept me from the brushes for two months? It certainly felt that way. I had put so much energy, physical and emotional, into preparing for the November show, that I guess the respite was needed. But in the last couple of weeks I've again felt the pull, and even had some ideas for subjects. A visit to the Museum of Modern Art for a Lucian Freud show certainly helped spark some creative energy. And this past weekend I made some sketches for a new work, which I started yesterday with over two hours of painting. It was funny how tentative it felt at first, as I worried about recapturing that steadiness of hand that had developed. However, after a few minutes I relaxed and felt that familiar ease as the paint flowed across the paper. When the painting is done, I'll scan it and post it here.

Oh . . . I was going through some of my earliest works from 2 1/2 to 3 years ago. Most of them I regard with mock horror, realizing that I've come a long way since then. But I did pull out this one image simply because I've posted photos of it in recent weeks. It's not great, but not as bad as some. (5"x5" - Arches paper)

2 comments:

One Wink at a Time said...

I do believe this is from one of the photos I encouraged you to paint from the group you posted a week or so ago... You did that backwards ;-)
That tentative, worrisome feeling you describe? I've suffered from it for years. You can't imagine how it can escalate. Please, don't ever let that happen to you. It's debilitating.

jblack designs said...

Love the art, Brian. Love this line, too: "'urged' me to pull the finished image from the paper."

Love it.