Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The fundamentals: making work, pushing through

If you're prone to going through periods where you're so inundated with great ideas that it's hard to actually find a place to begin, then you and I are on the same wavelength.

It's the 'push through' you have to do, and nobody can do it for you. You can't sit around and wait for the Muse to strike, she has to be hunted down. You have to get yourself sorted, get your materials ready and just get stuck in. It's the bit between 'I want to go paint' and the getting stuck in that I get a bit unstuck.

Distractions sneak in. There's a phone call I have to take, an e-mail I have to answer. Laundry to be hung out to dry, lawns to be mowed before the rain comes back. Text work that must be done by end of business today. So by the time I get back to the Muse, she's off on a cigarette break and I'm being asked what's for dinner.

But if you don't push through all this, you don't get work made. And if you don't make work, you've no paintings to show for it.

Over the past couple of years I've become a bit lazy when it comes to making large oils on canvas, simply because I have about 50 large unsold canvases in my house, owing to the very difficult economic situation in Ireland and Europe generally. I wasn't selling them fast enough to justify churning them out. I have over a dozen that have not been seen outside of County Limerick, but I have posted them online so people still see them, but the actual paintings are in my possession. I stopped painting so many oils, invested in good quality watercolour paper and started doing my watercolour drawings, and got myself a camera.

However, I feel the yen to do more large oils, so I've started the push through by sizing and priming a couple of canvases, and even if I don't use oil paint on them, there's always acrylic paint. The canvases will be dry and ready to use tomorrow.

I also want to play with some black and white drawings, so I have made inquiries about where to get carbon paper, to transfer lines onto watercolour paper. That's my little jaunt in the car this evening.

And there's a box of small paintings, mostly oils, that I have started but cannot consider finished - yet. Every few weeks I take them out and look at them. And then the phone rings, or there's an e-mail. But enough excuses.

My list of projects I want to work on - and not all of them are exclusively painting or drawing - continues to grow, and if I am to make headway I need to push through. So I am rolling up my sleeves ..... More about this tomorrow. 

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