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December 29, 2012

How it goes.

DETAIL: work in progress.

After taking a few days off to spend the holidays with some family, I am back. Allow me a few sentences to talk about the self-imposed obstacle course I have devised in order to make things way more difficult than they should be:

I have banned myself from making abstract paintings using process as a starting point. Ironic, no, considering the title of this blog. This is not new. I'm just constantly reminded  that every day I must have a loose, tangible, thinly-veiled plan of some sort before I pick up a brush. Maddening.

What this also means is that I cannot walk in the studio and dash out of the starting gate at 100 mph like I used to do. Again, this is all self-imposed in the name of difficulty. Instead, I now look around and observe my surroundings until either something clicks or I exhaust myself thinking about the overwhelming banality of what I am doing and give in to the impulse of just needing to paint something, anything.

Last night I started a painting of the dog laying on the rug. I only had a few minutes to capture the essence of his pose before he walked away bored with my pacing back and forth between the palette table and a decent viewpoint.

No one talks about essence anymore.

|ˈesəns|
the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, esp. something abstract, that determines its character: conflict is the essence of drama.

Okay, so I am painting abstractly after all. I probably knew this. Intrinsically, of course.

When I started the painting, I thought, the dog, really? What's next, candy wrappers, glass prisms? Then I thought of Louisa Matthíasdóttir, or maybe I thought of Louisa Matthíasdóttir first. I can't remember. Excerpt from her bio:
1968 – Daughter Temma graduates college- Daughter Temma adopts gray cat, Kisa, and husband Leland Bell adopts Mischka a Hungarian sheepdog dog who both appear in paintings of the time
I may have posted this part of her bio before because like how important it is.

So, I'm looking at the small painting of the dog this morning, (10 x 8 inches) and thinking:
  • He looks like an alligator.
  • I managed to flatten him out so that he looks like one of the motifs in the rug pattern. 
  • I nailed his expression.
I still have to finish the rug, and I need to start another painting.

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