Tuesday, July 12, 2011

how do you work?

studio night- nancy, lynn and leslie, a new addition- who works with nancy and is a good friend of lynn's and of my friend margie.

at one point tonight leslie (who does sculpture- horses- and the most amazing potato prints- also horses- that she then paints with watercolors) asked me about my planning process. and i was confused. and leslie seemed surprised at my reaction, but lynn and nancy did confirm that not a lot of planning goes on in the studio when i am working away.

i'm not even sure that i plan my mixed media ahead of time- i only really think about it (as far as i can tell) when i am stuck or far enough along in a piece to wonder if i'm done & let it sit & look at it for a few days.

i do have a ready stack of favorite images should i decide i need a transfer or something, and i do tend to work in runs of colors- but that may be b/c i use what's left on the palette to start another canvas. yellow & blue seem to be the current colors of choice.

how do you work? does it depend on media ( i do plan, even draw, if i am actually painting something that is supposed to be recognizable), on mood, on subject? or do you always work the same way? value sketches, layouts done ahead of time? basic concept that changes when in process? whatever happens might work might not but it can always be reworked?

anyway- here are tonight's exercises in spontaneity- yellow & blue seem to be the current colors in favor- probably b/c i used them a lot in the workshop last week-

both unfinished.

this may be close, but the upper left needs work

i love the way that the modeling paste texture echos the marks on the paper but have no idea where to go from here other than it isn't done. so i will let it gestate a while.

to sun valley with some friends to hear the avett brothers tomorrow night- can't wait!


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Okay, my *process*.....LOL!!!!
I have a vision in my head of what I want the finished piece to look like. This is the WORST, because I have to get it from the head to the hands and then the canvas or whatever substrate.
So then I pull out 500 lbs. of CRAP that I might use. Yes, MIGHT. I pull anything that piques my interest at this incubation point.
While I am gessoing the canvas (or preparing board) the mind wanders on it's own and solves problems. By the time the substrate is ready, I usually know basic colors and a few basic elements that cannot be changed unless they just flat do not work. (that's only happened 1 or 2 times...usually I have a pretty good bead on this)
Then it's pull-and-try with numerous papers, images, collected junk......gels, micas, etc. I still know where it is going.
I reach a point where I like it~~this is critical that I PUT IT ASIDE. I need to watch how much/what/where from there.
As disorganized as this sounds, it is a process.
Do I sketch? Only if there is an element going in LATER that I know I will forget, and usually it is a verbal description as I feel drawing it takes the *power* out of the idea. I tinker with the sketch and lose interest in the work.....
My dirty secrets revealed.
Hopefully you are still my friend. ;-)


marianne said...

i am in awe. i can't fathom seeing a finished product in my head before i even start- another example of my lack of imagination. but i am absolutely with you on having the 5 toms of crap that i *might* need accessible. and i buy stuff i *might* need too (wood burning tool anyone?), cuz you never know!

Judy Wood said...

Depends on the medium. When I did stained glass window pieces and mosaics, pretty well all the design work had to be totally tacked down beforehand, with some options in colour choices along the way.
With the Photoshop, mixed media and encaustic work I do now, I usually start with an extremely vague concept and make it up as I go along. There are positives and negatives to either way of working, and as with everything, something in the middle is likely optimal.

Postcards from Wildwood said...

Eeeek! I just stopped by to say hello and am in no way qualified even to take part in this discussion! Your 'spontaneous' approach doesn't surprise me at all, Marianne. I've read Anne's and Judy's comments too, and am trying to work out where I sit. You wouldn't be surprised to know that I have a largely finished 'product' in mind when I start, but may not know how to get it from the fuzzy stuff going on in my head down on to the paper / fabric / computer screen. Within that framework I would say I'm becoming more spontaneous, and I enjoy the challenges along the way - how to achieve a particular quality / how to make something work. Whereas it seems to me you have a need to CREATE, my need is more about producing something useful / attractive / pleasing, and enjoying the process along the way to that, allowing it however long it takes.

Hope Echo is doing well,
Janice. x

marianne said...

Thanks all- Judy, no surprise to me that our approaches are similar. i can't even fathom doing mosaic or stained glass & having to lay things out, though. Janice- i agree with Judy that somewhere in the middle is probably optimnal. though i do have that need to create i get mighty cranky if i don't end up with something that isn't hideously ugly (and not saleable) at the end!)