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   Welcome to my blog! I'll be posting thoughts about art, photos, happenings, and other things that strike me--and hopefully my readers--as interesting. And please visit my website by clicking the link to the right--thanks!

   Also please check out my second blog, The Painting Archives to see older (pre-2004) paintings for sale.


Friday, August 07, 2009
  new painting and thoughts about studio time

This small painting (Red Wall, 14"x11") evolved rather slowly, through many layers of paint, acquiring the kind of rich patina that I like in my work. It is one of a continuing series of paintings inspired by old walls and weathered surfaces, which began during my residency in Catalonia, and has continued in the months since.

Right now, I have dozens of paintings in progress, because I have several exhibits and other deadlines coming up in the next few months. I've had some very good, productive studio days...somehow finding a rhythm in the midst of summer's many diversions, and prioritizing studio time even when I have people visiting, as I do at the moment. Treating work in the studio like the job that it is. (I'm grateful to have very supportive friends and family in this regard.)

I guess I do work well under pressure, although it often feels like stress. That extra little push needed to make decisions about the paintings (is it done, does it work...) seems to help me focus, and definitely keeps me in the studio for longer hours, pushing past the point when I'd really like a break.

Something that I've noticed: Often, during the half hour or so after I tell myself that a break can wait, I make a noticeably good move on a painting or two. I guess that pushing past the comfort zone can actually give creative energy a little boost. It's definitely positive reinforcement for hanging in there a bit longer even though I feel tired and spent. On the other hand, I'm not advocating overdoing things--painting is hard work, both physically and mentally. It's really just that extra 30-60 minutes in which good things very often seem to happen. (In the painting above, that's when I added the final rich red--pushing it from a more earthy color.)
 
Comments:
Rebecca,
I found your blog this evening, and I'm loving it. Your work is honest and has a depth to it that many non-representational artists only aspire to.
I'll be back to see what you're up to...

Love & Laughter
 
It is rich in color and texture. Thanks for the observations about your process.
 
Rebecca, love this painting. I agree with you that sometimes that last 30 mins to an hour can allow one to push past the threshold of indecision or doubt, and into the magical chambers of inspiration and productivity. It amazes me sometimes that after a whole day of struggling with a piece and arguing with myself, that last 20 mins or so can reveal the essence I had been striving for all day!
 
It was so affirming to read your thought process as you work hard in your studio. I have had the same sort of spent, tired feelings at the end of the day in my studio and yet it is exquisite work.
 
I can completely relate to your observations about pushing yourself past the comfort zone... I often create my best work at 3 AM when I can hardly keep my eyes open.
 
Hi Rebecca,
I really really love your work.

I have experimented a bit myself w/cold wax medium (Gamblin), approx. 30% medium to 70% oil paint. I'm really wondering how it is that you get yours to look luminous?! When I have tried this recipe, I get matte ugliness.

Thank you.
 
Thank you all for comments...Jala, it's hard to say--I tend to use more like 50% wax, but it also has to do with the way I apply it. I see you're in Boulder--I have a workshop coming up there in April and I could show you in person?
 
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       Rebecca Crowell