Where are you, sunshine? Where’s your twinkly kiss? I dream of you in the morning. I need your light. You can vanish in the afternoon; I don’t care. But don’t be shy in the morning. Dazzle me! Sparkle me! Give me hope for the day.
Some people are night creatures, others are at their best mid-day. I’m a very early morning person. My day is front-loaded. Everything useful I’ll do, I’ll do before noon. But I need sunshine! Unfortunately, our recent weather has been murky glop. Humid, warm, dark.
This morning is sunny but I have to do things other than art. More murk is headed our way and will move in for nearly a week. What to do?
I’ll have to make my own sunshine.
That’s where those Brusho crystals come in. I bought them in the depth of winter, haven’t had the courage to open the package because even though it was a small expenditure it was still money and there’s a lot of pressure on me to use those crystals well. But that little tub of “Sunburst Lemon” is going to be my dream-come-true in the coming days: sunshine on demand.
The mixed media piece above is acrylic paint, metallic cord, and the holes from hole-punching old advertising circulars. It’s not quite finished.
I made the “Summer Treats” pattern using “Image Tricks” (BeLight Software). It’s an app designed for Macs and there’s free version that lets you make magic with existing images – and also generate new ones.
A few minutes ago, a TV commentator who’s been working from home and “the road” began his interview by apologizing for how nondescript his background was:
I’m in a hotel room. Everything’s corporate gray. It’s not me.
How sad that he felt the need to apologize for the grayness of the room he’s in! No, it’s not his chosen color-level but so what? Why did he do that? Because everyone has a color-opinion and some people rigidly – and sometimes nastily – demand that all people agree with them. Not enough color. Too much color. Wrong color. Blabbity-blah.
The blast of colors on the face up there are me. I’m not going to apologize, back off, mute, or otherwise dilute that me-ness. Maybe that’s the art of the thing? Maybe it’s simply the you and the me in what we do? Dunno. What I do know is that when I posted that face on a social media account last year, a person whose art opinion I respect told me that it was “…too colorful.”
How is that possible?
We discussed it briefly, then suddenly stopped. He said I was making a fool of myself, that it was TOO MUCH. He has color limits. I don’t. We remain mutually-respectful online buddies but I suspect that we will never agree on colors. I can live with that.
Now, with all of that out of the way, here’s what I planned for this post to be about: That face is a mix of my photography, acrylic painting, and digital painting. It doesn’t exist in our world unless it’s printed. I want to be able to paint that face so it will exist. Right now that’s a crazy dream. My painting skills are nearly as nonexistent as that face. The last time I painted I struggled to make any sense of the strokes. I couldn’t create what I wanted to create. Today I could not paint that face. Maybe I’ll never have the patience to learn how to paint that face. And maybe I don’t have to, given that I already made that face. Maybe digital compilations of my own work are my limit.
That’s what this post was supposed to be about. But it’s a whiny rehash of the past and an amorphous daydream of the future. Pointless.
Maybe what it ought to be about is how very personal “art” is, how it is – at its center – us. Maybe the me-ness of my art, whether it’s painted or poured or cut or sculpted or photographed or drawn or compiled, is the art. Maybe that’s why everyone has an opinion. And maybe that’s why those opinions can hurt and buoy and inflate and decimate: because they’re not about what we do but about who we are. They’re about us.
I can live with that, too. But I can’t live without bright colors. They’re – well – me.
I made this creature with joy and I love looking at it. But I know that it isn’t well-crafted. How could it be? I threw stuff at it, slammed paint on, ignored my own good sense when I knew – KNEW – that the tempera sticks weren’t blending and my marks looked like an inebriated elk made them. I cut paper and glued pieces to the board, and I didn’t even try to make the cuts even or the placed pieces straight.
Why? After a long absence from creating non-digital art I “choked.” But that’s never a reason to stop trying! This result was this…whatever it is.
I’ve decided to look at it as the piece between the work I did before and the work I’m going to do now, a completely separate and bizarrely taste-adjacent thing in between.
Palate cleanser art – fun to make and to mock. Enjoy!
(Tempera sticks, acrylic ink, acrylic paint, cut paper on foam board)
Why shouldn’t I doodle with paint? Why shouldn’t I draw with paint? Why shouldn’t I put tea leaves and glitter and thread and the “holes” from hole-punched paper in paint? Why shouldn’t I draw with paint? Why shouldn’t I push paint around with an old hair-comb? Why shouldn’t I paint on top of discarded but still decorative ribbon and deflated bubblewrap and old fabric AND ANYTHING ELSE WANT TO?
And why – WHY??? – why shouldn’t I treat painting like the brain-fizzing fun it can be and not a jaw-clenching exercise in self-control?
The painting above is my first, ever. I did it about 12 years ago, called it “In the Nursery.”
There are old dried tea leaves, paper hole-punched pieces, and large glitter mixed in with the acrylic paint. It was basically a doodle because I started with a blank canvas and no plan at all.
In spite of the fact that it was obviously amateurish, I was proud of the painting and posted it on my original Redbubble site (now closed, replaced by this one and this one). One member who saw it – and who knew I was new to painting – sent me acritique. It was kind but it set me off on years of trying to do things I didn’t want to do. He said (among other things) that “…one should paint with paint. Painterly strokes are what matter. Never draw with paint. Sketch with paint, yes, but only if required. Don’t contaminate paint with anything. If you can’t learn to paint whatever “effects” you desire then perhaps you shouldn’t paint. Those colors are interesting.”Continue reading “Tea Leaves? In Paint? And a Doodle, Too? (Why I stopped painting & will begin again)”→