Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cue in the Self-Doubt

Here's is what I am working on now. Since it is not part
of the new series, I am posting it.
For those of you who think that I don't have any self-doubt about my artistic ability, you're wrong. At the moment I am full of self-doubt. In fact, I am kind of drowning in it. I assume most artists experience this at some point, especially when trying something new, like, say a new series.  I am no different.

I have been working for three days trying to get what is in my head out on a panel and it hasn't been working. Part of it is my unfamiliarity with what I am trying to do. Part of it is impatience. I have worked so long on tight, figurative paintings that loosing up and doing something more "abstract" has been difficult. I am frustrated that I am not getting the results that I want NOW. I guess it's ridiculous for me to expect after three days to be proficient at something new, but I can't help it. I have expectations of myself and failure is not one of them. I am not very patient. I like instant gratification and so far I have hated everything I have tried for this new work. So here I am frustrated and doubting myself. What do I do now?

I think the best thing for me is to work on something familiar for the moment. I started a new "Forgotten Memories" painting and I am feeling pretty good about my abilities as an artist again. I'm thinking the best plan for me is to work on the new stuff in between the familiar so that I have some success in between the least until the new stuff starts to click with me. I don't want to give up my vision for this new series because, one, I think it's a worthwhile series, but also because I don't want to be a quitter. Being challenged and frustrated will help me grow as an artist, and growth is very important. I've said it before, and I will say it again: I don't ever want to become too comfortable or stagnant as an artist. If this means having moments of self-doubt and anxiety in order to do something new, then so be it. I know that the only way I can work through this is to keep painting and to paint A LOT. It's only through a lot of painting that I will be able to work things out and, hopefully sooner than later, get what I see in my head out for the rest of the world to see.

Can you figure out the "story" yet in this painting?

This painting is 36"x36". I am really liking this size.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Series Anxiety

I am working on a new series this summer and with any new series there comes an anxiety, one that can create self-doubt and stifle creativity. Will people respond to it as the did to my last series? Will the galleries that represent me want to show it? Will it be a success? These, in addition to comments by the few people who have seen the work in progress, can really make for a tense time while creating.

When you are an artist that is known for a particular style and aesthetic, and you have been working in the same series for the past three and a half years, it's hard to try something new. I have been itching to do something different but, until now, I didn't know what to do. I had a few false starts in the last few years and nothing I tried really stuck or made me passionate enough about it that I wanted to continue working on it. It's hard. It took me a VERY long time to develop my "Forgotten Memories" series (think a life-time of painting and trying things out) and it is because of this series that I have gallery representation. Coming up with a series that would still look like my work BUT still show progress is hard.

I have been mulling over the current series for a few months, figuring out my concept, deciding on how I would execute it. Now I am ready to execute. I haven't quite figured everything out, no one ever does, and I am sure that things will change as I work, but that's part of the process. I started my first piece this weekend and so far, I am happy with it. It is still part "Forgotten Memories" since I am still using old photos and the bars over the eyes, but I've added another element to it that adds another dimension to the piece.

What is that element, you ask? Well, as hard as it is for me not to tell you or post the works in progress, I have decided to wait until I have a body of work before I show it. There's a few reasons for this. One is that I need to be able to work out issues and figure things out while painting without other people's ideas, criticism, comments influencing (or trying to) me. I don't want other people's ideas of what it SHOULD look like or what they THINK it should look like get in the way of my vision. In order for this series to work and be something that I can be passionate enough to continue, it has to be about what I want and see in my head. I don't want to worry about disappointing people if I don't use their ideas or suggestions.

Another reason for not showing any updates is that I think showing the series as a body of work will make more of an impact. I want to be able to weed out the mediocre pieces and show a strong body of work that will, hopefully, excite people and make them want to see it in an installation. I want my galleries to see the work and be able to imagine what it would look like in their gallery as a complete show. I want there to be a number of pieces people can look at and decide which ones are their favorites.

So, despite my impulse to post the work now, I am going to wait until the end of summer and reveal it then. Let's keep our fingers crossed that I can execute what I see in my head in paint and have another good series that I am proud of!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The First Week...

This painting has a tiny bit of work left, and then it needs to be waxed.
I will be shipping this tomorrow, along with the last two pieces
completed, to Julie Nester Gallery in Park City, UT. This piece is 30"x24".
The first week of my summer break has come and gone and a lot of work was completed. I am leaving for a well-deserved (I think) vacation to Italy with my husband in two days and before we can leave, I have to finish three paintings and ship/ deliver thirteen pieces to four different galleries. It's going to be a hectic two days as I try and coordinate everything, pack for our trip, oh, and did I mention that we are making an offer in absentia on the cutest house ever, while we are gone? We are hoping to find out at the end of this week that our offer is accepted, but, as those of you who live in San Francisco know, for every house that's for sale, there's anywhere from 5 to 10 other people bidding on it. Hopefully we will find out that we got the house and will be celebrating this in Italy. Keep your fingers crossed! It will be our first house we are buying and it is a scary, nerve-wracking process, but we have a great realtor who is holding our hand through the process. Lots of changes are happening for us!

In other news...I have started the first piece in my new series and I am so excited to be working on something new! It may be a long time before I post anything online since I want to make sure I work out any "kinks" and have a good body of work before I reveal it. Stay tuned...