Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Original Oil Painting 12x30" gallery wrap canvas
by Susan Roux
Where is your art going this year? Will it be taking a different direction? Will you try new techniques or work on perfecting your current ones?
With all the talk of New Year's resolutions and dreams for the year, I have trouble not focusing on my art when answering. January of last year marked the birth of my girls at the beach with simplified backgrounds. It seems as though I've been working on them much longer. When I began, I wanted to play with pale shadows that still read like shadow. I've tried to hold that as part of my focus, but also delving into developing fundamentals.
I'm certain you recall me using words like painstakingly. Trying to improve our painting habits is never an easy plight. We become comfortable doing certain things and it's easy to continue to repeat them. Forcing your brain to think differently, apply the paint differently and try to have a result that doesn't look like you spent too much time "thinking" in the first place can be a very painstaking act. I speak to you from experience.
Personally I'm drawn to great paintings that offer a balance of creativity, meaning that pure emotional spontaneity, with perfectly executed fundamentals. When these two dance on canvas poetically it's difficult to look away. I'm drawn to surprises. That creative use of color, unexpected in its location, yet working beautifully to unify the composition. A harmony that leaves something to the imagination and elevates the viewer to drift and dream.
As you can see I set my goals high and I still have a long way to go to achieve them.
Working on fundamentals engages the brain. Spontaneity and gut reactions go out the door. Focusing for a full year on these has helped me develop, but a fear of being unable to shut my brain down grew. What if I can't access that creative side again? What if I want to analyze every stroke all the time? I'm striving for a balance of the two. How will this be possible?
The holidays presented me with very little time to paint. I'm certain you can relate to that or at lease to the growing desire to just pick up a brush when time doesn't allow it. The feeling became so great that one day I just exploded on canvas! I didn't want to think. I didn't want to follow any rules. I just wanted to paint!
And so I did.
The painting posted is pure emotion pouring on canvas. Oh how it felt good! I look at it now and want to return to it to define some element more. Pick a cluster of flowers, maybe just one flower, and give it a bit more attention. I know it doesn't resemble my other work. That's ok. I could go back and define it, but I want to keep it as is. It'll be good to hang in the studio as a reminder that my creative side is not dead and can still be accessed. Now I can relax and continue in my development of fundamentals.
Something inside still drives me. My work feels cut out for the new year. My direction is clear. Develop the fundamentals further and begin to allow the creative side to dance with it. Somewhere between my girls at the beach and this emotional outburst lies the place I'm headed.
So I ask again. Where are you headed with regards to your art this year?