Getting Un-stuck!

I like the feeling of finding my way through unknown territory. Trying new things is exciting and important to an artist’s growth, but I’ve noticed when I have no idea where to go with a painting I tend to stop. That’s one way I get stuck.

I recently embarked on a new direction in my painting. I’m working on figurative pieces almost completely from imagination. It’s both exhilarating and challenging and I’m adapting my whole creative process to accommodate this new wave of work.

Like most artist, I have realized the importance of showing up, just getting into the studio, but rather forcing myself, I am developing processes that keep me moving with confidence. Often it involves starting a new version, working certain things out, and then coming back to complete the original.

This evening I was working on a painting that I started yesterday. It is based on a graphite drawing below. I reached the point shown in the second photo,  just a general sense of the figures and background. I started with a yellow ochre wash and the moved to rose. I rubbed them out with a rag wet with thinner and repainted. At this point I got stuck and didn’t know how to proceed. After a bit of hesitation, I simply switched to a new piece of paper and started working with acrylic burnt umber and gesso. It is a quick way to get a feeling for values and it is very easy to rework.

I will play with the acrylic version a bit more because I’m having fun with it. Then maybe I’ll do a watercolor to work out color ideas. When I feel inspired to jump back into the oil painting then I will. I’ll keep you posted

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