Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Painting's Journey: Truro Lighthouse

Truro Lighthouse, 24 x 30" oil on canvas, christine sullivan

Well here it is. After a week of decisions - some good, some not so good, and this morning's painting session, I am finally feeling better about "Truro Lighthouse" and think it may be finished. Or close. Here's the update:

I arrived at the studio early this morning and read a bit of my Joseph Albers: To Open Eyes book and turned to look at where this painting was up till today. Covered in two, possibly three session's worth of bright blues, greens and peach colored paint. Ugh.

Two days ago I was so mad at where it was going I just tossed it in the corner and painted a few others. Rather successfully I might ad. So this morning I decided I needed to remind the painting just who was boss (chuckle) and finally it hit me. My color strategy was entirely WRONG and the foreground had to change. 

I went to work, first at the palette, developing a new family of warm, earthy colors and a few new greys, and then got to it. For the next hour I painted, changing almost every inch of the 24 x 30" canvas and then, breathing, I stepped back and smiled.

As a relatively new painter I continue to struggle with the mental game and often find myself caught in that grey matter area between my ears that chews on such things as what do I want to paint, how do I want to paint, why do I want to paint and who am I painting for. And what I've noticed this week is that sometimes, well actually often times, I have all this garbage going on in my head while I'm painting!?!? Can you relate? It's also referred to as, "getting in your own way." 

So...I've learned from this painting's journey that I need to work at "being in the moment" because when I'm painting with crap in my head then crap will stick to the painting. And also to stay connected to the subject matter - to be connected with the land so much that you can smell the salt air and feel the breezes. And finally, to be strong and confident in the studio. It really will make all the difference. Now, if someone would just tell Sybil...

Thanks for joining me and, 'till next time, I hope you are enjoying and learning from your own creative journey.
- cs/ss

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