Monday, August 14, 2017

A Day In The Life: Artist At Work

My search bar reads "between custard and ice cream" but that couldn't possibly have anything to do with art, could it? Maybe it does. Maybe. A day of painting is perhaps, to an artist, like the smoothness of custard and ice cream. Rich, full, soothing. Yet, a day of painting is *hard* work too. All day, I worked outside on my front porch studio, on my feet standing. It rained, the sun came out, it rained some more. Breezes drifted. Heat settled. My glasses fogged up. The feet hurt. Stop! Stop, they cried. The dog snoozed near them. As I usually remind 'normal' folks who actually might read this blog, artists work hard. It's not our 'hobby'. Or worse yet, the age old question...."How do you REALLY make a living?" I've heard it all, as well as any artist that ever has existed. Rembrandt probably heard it. An artist is at work, whether there's a paycheck involved or not.

One of the many stages of this piece. I *love* this, but took the orange bit at the top out, then kept going. I believe this would have been a great abstract finished painting, though!

This week, I told the dog and cat they at least have food, so that's good. We like to eat around here. It's not an easy existence, but when you do what you were born to do, somehow you find your way. The universe is listening, and someone out there's going to find your art. Annie Dillard writes: "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern."

I thought you might like to see the journey of a painting, along with what I did today: on a rainy/sunny/August day. Yes, my feet still hurt, the dog is still near them: we're inside now at the computer screen while I take a break to sit down and share this with you. The life of an artist.

Painting in the rain.

By now, this piece must have 50 layers. Some get removed, some added to. It's symbolic of life. It's taking a new direction, isn't it?

This is the painting in its most recent stage, it of course belongs to my long-time series "Esto Perpetua", yet feels different. This one is titled "Time of Mist: All is Not Lost". Right now, it's going to dry for a few weeks before I decide "Finished!" or keep going. I let paintings lead me. All is not lost....I keep looking at the abstract version I like so much, yet I love this too! It'll happen. The universe will speak. And I'll keep on painting. Tired feet and all, the dog near by.

And that is a day in the painting life.