Denver Art Student’s League – the building, a classroom, the floor – March 17th, 2014
In review – My esteemed instructor for Advanced Contemporary Painting, Homare Ikeda, has offered me a challenge – to work on a painting for a solid year. Certainly not at the exclusion of other work but parallel with all my other works. The canvas, we have decided, need not be larger than 30×40″ and could in fact be a bit smaller. The task, which of course I accepted, is more about the 365-day journey than the destination – more about having patience and resilience than the amount of time required – more about trusting yourself with the addition of each and every gesture than in asking for constant direction from the instructor. For a person like me who usually works quite fast, it is an exercise in pacing and meditation over the work being done.
**For the first two (unofficial) posts introducing this project, see my archives titled “Art Imitates Life, as they say…” published 3/13/2014 and “Back To The Classroom, Seeing Things Again for the First Time” published 3/11/2014
March 18th, 2014
Today I have begun. I have finally made my decision about the canvas size based upon Homare’s recommendation not to choose an odd-ball size (I was considering a tall narrow size of 20×60″) that would only add unnecessary frustration to this challenge. So the chosen size is 24×30″
It’s almost a blizzard now, where I am, in my second floor home studio south of the Denver metro area, but it won’t last long. It’s SPRING! Great day to paint. The north light in this room is wonderful, especially with lots of snow flying around outside.
I begin by painting the entire canvas with my favorite base color – unbleached titanium. It’s warm, it’s neutral, and it’s friendly with the color palette I usually hang with. I slap it on with a large palette knife because that also adds subtle texture, and I am all about texture, color and pattern.
Now it has to dry before I can do anything else to it. That doesn’t take long, especially in Colorado’s altitude and low humidity, but you can also use a hair dryer if you are impatient, which I am supposed to NOT BE in this challenge. I am already getting excited to do more. Calm down. I need to watch it a lot, getting to know it. Calm down. Looking for inspiration. I might be hit with a flash of brilliance….something I want to do right away! Color! But I might not touch it again for several days…calm down.