Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Materials, the Process

I'm just about wrapping up the more busy time of the year this week, and had off from any point responsibilities yesterday and today. I spent a lot of time just surfing around the internets, I admit it – but I also do a lot of research, too, and dreaming, about things like the residencies or art workshops I'd like to attend, other artists I admire, etc.

One thing I try to impart to my students is the value of the process, that is, that the end product is not always the most important thing. Playing with a new material and letting it dictate the process and even the content is not always easy to do, but invariably opens you up into a whole new direction never before achieved or even imagined.

I don't know that I expect such amazing things when I get myself some acrylic gouache, but I am very excited to experiment with a (slightly) new media. Of course in the past I have used water-based gouache and I have been using acrylic paint as my main medium for a few years now. But the idea of getting the same look and feel of gouache (kind of matte, opaque, lovely) and be able to layer because it doesn't wash away is tantalizing.

I was looking at a listing of summer workshops at Cullowhee Mountain Arts in North Carolina and found the fantastic painter Susan Lichtman, who is scheduled to teach one. I would love to have the chance to meet her and study under her for a few days, but since I can't, instead downloaded the supply list for the class. It's funny how such a list can be so inspiring! I'm hoping to get a starter set of acryl gouache within the next week or two.

This may also be a good chance for me to get back to figures in my work again, too... that's something I've been thinking about for a few months now. I even have a couple of friends who said that they would sit for me, so I'll even have easy access to subject matter.

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at how to approach this, but maybe just sitting down and sketching out some loose compositional ideas might help. I want to connect these figures to my houses somehow, which shouldn't be too hard. I'm also going to be an artist-in-residence this summer (more on that as I have more solid information – very exciting!) that will enable me to work outside among people, a stark contrast to the solitary conditions in which I usually work. Lots of potential models in that kind of situation!

The coming weeks and months have so much potential... I need to make lists to organize my thoughts and my priorities so I don't miss anything. In addition to lots of studio time, I am also looking forward to working in my gardens, spending time with friends and family, cultivating my career...

1 comment:

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