The Year Long Canvas Welcomes August

YLCAUG1The YLC, still dripping wet with a new cool wash of turquoise. copyright 2014 Jo Ann Brown-Scott – zoom in for greater detail

Today it was time again – my inner art Buddha winked and smiled and indicated he wanted to meet me in the studio this afternoon and see some evolution on his friend the YEAR LONG CANVAS – affectionately known as the YLC. The incessant rains have stopped – it is about 80 degrees and sunny and I have a lovely weekend ahead….so I thought I would honor his pure and simple request and squeeze in some new work on the canvas. Seemed like a good Karma kind of day to me.

Have any of you read the book titled Breakfast With Buddha by Roland Merullo?

A sort of grumpy man finds it necessary to make a road trip due to family concerns, and through an odd set of circumstances he finds that his traveling companion is a Buddhist Monk, the last person in the world he would like to be confined with in a car for several days of driving. The Monk is enigmatic, smiling, fascinating…much like the Dahli Lama…and nearly silent except for asking his driver the question that opened both mind and soul, “Why so angry?” What follows is a long yet simple conversation about the meaning of life, continued over several days of driving.

visit http://www.rolandmerullo.com

I am not an angry person, and that is precisely the point of so many things in my life. I forgave everyone and chose to forget the worst of things over the years. The lack of anger explains the vibrant color in my art, my almost constant smile and tendency to be light-hearted and free-spirited. And it certainly goes a long way toward understanding how in the world I can continue to adhere to this crazy assignment of working on one canvas for a whole year. I guess the secret lies in not taking it all too seriously or too personally. I got far less seriously involved with the YLC when summer came and I could relax more and let go of the simmering urge to hurl it through a window.

This YLC needed cooling off today – she needed a wash of my mother’s favorite color of blue and she needed a lot of wetness – she is still glossy and drying in the photo. I am also inclined now to turn this painting in a vertical direction – just because I am weary of painting it horizontally. So when she dries I will probably proceed to the next step after rotating her so that the large round ball of red-orange is in the bottom left of the canvas. Let’s see what happens then!

The Creative Epiphany – The One-Year Painting Challenge, Official Blog #1

dasl   room   floor

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.

palletteknife   closeup

blog1   texture

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.

Stay tuned……