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27 February 2011

Progressing slowly...

Elegant Spider, 16x20 inches, oils and airbrushed acrylics on GessoBord...

I've been working on the Elegant Spider painting over the weekend, and it's coming along nicely (I think). I had actually started painting the background earlier in the week, only to realize that the background really needed to be (at least partially) airbrushed.

So, I removed the paint (using a scraper followed by a paper towel soaked in Gamsol), and--once the area was more or less dry--began airbrushing Friday night.

I think this is going to be one of the nicest "spider paintings" so far.

I (basically) have one month to finish up whatever stuff I'm going to have in my show. There are (at least) four other paintings I'd love to have in the show, but they haven't even been started yet. The chances that I could start and finish them in time for the show is rather slim; and working on them would take time I could spend finishing work in time for the show.

(I did spend some time--too much time, actually--working on the drawing for a new painting. While its nice to regularly work on new ideas, I probably should have spent that time finishing paintings for my show...)

A month is not very much time (and I've never been highly skilled at time-management!) so I'm trying to focus on finishing the six or seven paintings that I've already started, in time for the show--and leaving the new stuff to get started once everything else is finished.

If there is time to work on (and hopefully finish) something new before April First, fine.

If not, I have applied to exhibit in this year's "Fringe Fest" in July, so I'll have three full months to work on "new stuff" before that show.


12 February 2011

The Inward Spiral (of doubt)...

I started work on a large (36 x 60 inches) painting recently. This painting will might end up taking several months to complete--though I hope it gets done much sooner than that. (Of course, I'll be working on several other pieces during that time as well...)

I'm more than a little nervous about this painting, for several reasons. The main reason is that, except for reworking The Presentation of Spiders, I haven't created a narrative (large/major) painting since I was in college. (I graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute, with my BFA in painting, three years ago.)

When I started college in 2003, I felt that I had scores of good ideas I wanted to develop. By the time I reached my seniour year in the Spring of 2008, I had been through so much second-guessing (via some fairly harsh critiques from both my instructors and fellow students) that I had begun to doubt whether or not I wanted to paint (and/or was able to paint) at all. n fact, I came very close to dropping out of school after finishing juniour year. A painting major, I nonetheless created only two paintings my entire seniour year; both at the beginning of my first seniour semester. The rest of my work as a seniour were sculptures!

Questioning one's self can be a very good thing. But, questioning one's work to the point of becoming "artistically paralyzed" isn't good at all. It was a struggle to finish school, and I fell really good about how far I've come--as an artist--since graduation.

With the work I'm preparing for my upcoming solo show, Arachnaphilia: For the Love of Spiders, I'm starting to feel much as I did when I started school. I feel that I have quite a few really good ideas once again--and I'm really ready to start work on them, and see them through.

Still, I've set aside the large painting (for now); the priority from now through March 31st is to finish the stuff for the show.

After that, though, I want to start work on the next "series" of pieces, and I want them to be physically larger than the paintings I've been making over the last two and a half years, and I also want them to be more developed, conceptually.

There will be more spiders...!

08 February 2011

Picking Battles...

Elegant Spider (in progress), 12x16 inches, charcoal, graphite, & oils on GessoBord.

Every choice to do one thing, is also a choice to not do all the other things that could have been done, instead.

My solo show is less than two months away. I expected to have many more paintings finished by now.

(In other words, I'm way behind!)

Last month, the Kansas City Art Institute announced an upcoming alumni auction and exhibit. The juror is the new director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum.

While it would be very cool to have one of my paintings seen by the director of the Nelson-Atkins (!) the deadline to submit something to the auction is March 1. It would take me the entire rest of February to produce a decent painting--and I would not want to submit anything less than my best--and I really need the rest of this month (along with next month, too, of course) to prepare for my solo show.

So, I've decided not to worry about entering the alumni exhibit.

I think being ready for my solo show is more important.