Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Resolutions - For the Love of Painting

It's that time of year! Time to make resolutions, commitments, vows. These things have meaning and hold weight for me. They are commitments to changing ones tendencies and moving in new directions. Re-training oneself, if you will.

My resolution is a commitment to joy and happiness; a shedding of old and unnecessary sorrows. It's really a commitment to love and faith. It's time! My friend Wendy has a niece that she told me spoke to her one day about how she'd decided to "just be happy". I wish it were just that easy, but we can take away a lesson from what her niece said and realize that we are truly causing our own unhappiness. It's true that we can just "be" happy no matter what conditions arise.

Andrew Wyeth wrote, "I think one's art goes as far and as deep and as one's love goes. I see no reason to paint, but that". That says it all for me.

This year is the year to bust out the color and the joy. The year not to give a rip about good taste or  what my work "should" look like. This is the year to paint truly from the heart and to surrender simply to that. This is the year to throw caution to the wind. I've been saying to students for years that there are no art police. No one is going to crash down your door because you didn't use enough restraint in your work. Quite the contrary really. I believe people are yearning, aching for limitations and boundaries to be broken. I know I am. I want to see what that really looks like, and feel how it really feels.

It's difficult to "loosen up" to push past tendency to understand and really act on the fact that we have no real limits other than those we impose upon ourselves. I've learned something about facing limitations over this past year. I know that I've done things that I never, ever thought possible. What an amazing thing that is. After learning to produce my videos; InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, FinalCut Pro and a host of other technical hoops to go through, I felt very, very confident yesterday when the headlight went out on my van, that I could indeed replace it myself! Thank you YouTube! Mission easily accomplished.

So painting with joy, abandon and maybe even a little craziness, does not seem impossible or silly or self-indulgent or anything but love. That's where I'm headed, to the love. Thanks Mr. Wyeth for the reminder!

Here are a couple pieces to get started! I think they are a good start in the right direction, but I know I can still let it rip a lot, lot more. Should be a great painting year!

18 x 30 Pastel on Wallis paper with fluid acrylic under-painting
18 x 30 Pastel on Wallis paper with fluid acrylic under-painting  
These pieces are fairly large. I think they would look fabulous floated in frames rather than matted. I can't decide whether to completely crop off the drip, though. I love them. I have three more under-paintings ready to roll, so I'm excited to get a whole group of them going. Pretty soon the studio will be bursting with color and before you know it, it will be spring! Perfect.