Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Heavy Thinking - Too Many Questions, Not Enough Answers

"Feather Moon 1" 14" X 21" poured watercolor
Oh, the questions!  Is this painting too simple?  Is this complex enough to draw interest, inspire "stories"?  Can I do this another way?  Will a juror notice this or dismiss it?  In the past two years my work has gone through many changes.  The most radical have been in the past 9 months as I have begun to use pouring both watercolor and acrylic pain to express my thoughts through simplified representational shapes.  Along with that change I began to self-evaluate at a more intense level.  How can this be better?  What can I change to make this work more engaging?

A few days ago I was writing exactly these thoughts in my journal.  There are several good offers of workshops I could attend in 2016.  I was considering a couple of them.  At this stage, I do not want to learn how someone else paints or thinks.  I want to learn how to make my own work better.  I want to learn to answer all these questions.  If there are methods I do not know now, that's what I want.  I turned on Facebook that morning and saw a promotion for a workshop that actually echoed the exact words in my journal.  A new, to me, instructor, Linda Rothchild Ollis, is giving a workshop in May at Menucha, a retreat on the Columbia Gorge.  It only took a few minutes to decide this is for me.

"Untitled 4" 21" X 29" Poured Acrylic 
Menucha is associated with the Presbyterian Church.  Rooms are shared, at least 3 per room. Meals are provided with a selection of 3 or 4 choices.  The bathrooms are shared .  There is wifi.  There's also coffee both in the rooms and in the central hall (cash only, they caution).  I am such a creature of habit.  I get up around 5AM, make my k-cup of coffee with heavy cream, spend 45 minutes to an hour in my chair writing my journal.  Then I depart to my computer for news and then into my studio for early morning work.  All of this is done in quiet, no talking, no music, no noise, except for a morning greeting with my husband, perhaps comments in passing.  By going to Menucha for three days I will not have my normal routine. How will that go?

As happened this time last year before ISS at Taos, NM, the thought of this workshop commitment is already pushing my work, answering some questions, raising some new ones.   I have the materials list, I am guessing at some of the uses.  I have more than 3 months of painting between then and now. Given how swiftly my work changed in the past two years I cannot begin to imagine where I will be by mid-May.  Which raises a final question:  how can I possibly plan?  I see now, more than ever, that "be here now" is the best advice.

No comments:

Post a Comment