December 18, 2011

Day Nine: Studio

Saturday. I like Scott's Simon's voice.
Notice I took the word, lockdown, out of the title. I don't know how I thought I would paint 24/7 AND continue to manage a home, non-related work, art-related work and still attempt to deal with everything leftover from my parent's and grandparents lives. I'm making headway, but yesterday, I came across vintage Theodore Seuss Geisel wrapping paper. If I have a spare second, I'll scan. And flattened bows. Honestly, if I had unlimited time, I would make a large sculpture out of some of this stuff, but I feel pressure to just paint and stay focused as it is.
In Progress

I'm still only at about 10% paint mode on this one. It's currently acrylic, but I'll switch to oil eventually. Once I do, there's no turning back. It's tricky, too, because if there's anything I like, it's hard to keep, so it becomes a whole new painting at that point and I have to hope for the best. The longer I wait to switch the harder it will be because by then I'll be attached to certain idiosyncratic passages that will feel stilted if I try to recreate them. I could keep going in acrylic, but I'm experiencing paint drag and I'm a bit half-assed in my brush handling. It's like not painting while I'm painting. Right now, the most important thing in the painting is the position of the affected pinkie finger, which isn't affected all all. I innately hold cups like this. I can't wait to paint the cup. Sounds silly but I am looking forward to the painting the china pattern. 

I began painting self-portraits last spring after seeing the Alice Neel documentary. After a lifetime of painting other people, Neel painted her first self-portrait at age 80, naked- save her glasses and a paintbrush and turp rag. It's a great film and this was the part that affected me the most. I thought it was a brave statement. On one hand, you're 80, so maybe you've made peace with the physical attributes of aging at that point, but do you ever make peace with yourself, or get over being vulnerable? I'm sure some people do. Some, maybe not. At 50, I'm just coming to grips with aging. I'm not 100% at peace with myself and chances are I have a pocket of vulnerability with me at all times. I decided to add self-portraits to my oeuvre. 

1 comment :

Carla said...

It's a cool portrait as is. It is funny how it often has to be a choice between "making a painting" and painting, and one must often sacrifice one for the other, and just almost can't resist going forward with the unknowns of "painting".

I do that with my pinky, have caught flack for it all my life, then I found a photo of me at about 2 years old, eating toast with both pinkies delicately held aloft. It's innate grace, I tell ya.