Friday, April 27, 2007

Paintings Inspired by a Feeling

Tree Woman, Oil on Canvas, 48x48, Summer 2005
The Harmony of Twilight and Nostalgia, mixed media, 10x13, Summer 2005

These paintings come more from a feeling, and less from a technical sense. Regarding the technical issue, though, I want to note that these two pieces were experiments with the medium(s), and were conglomerations of feeling and technical from the standpoint of having acquired what skill sets I have over the years, and then just letting go and painting what I felt. Also, I am very inspired by trees in general.

What I do want to say about the word feeling – for me, a feeling is not a word or a description of what a feeling is, it is the feeling – something that is not an easy thing to wrap a definition around, nor does it need to. If I throw a definition out there, then we all get a canned description, or a group of words that tells us how we’re supposed to feel – a tangible aspect to an otherwise intangible thing.
Tree Woman
When I painted this, I was very excited to start it. I had been told a story that inspired me to paint this. It comes from the visual that I got when the story was being told to me. It’s not the same as the visual that was in my head, but I’m satisfied with the result. This was the first painting that I tried the medium Galkyd. I like it a lot and have used it frequently since. This was an experiment with it, and I suppose being an experiment, it allowed me to free up and just paint whatever comes out. Sometimes what happens with me is that I let myself be swayed by outside sources, and have to have some sort of validation for being ‘free’. Also, in part, because I think people are jaded by the word ‘free’ when it comes to painting – and occasionally I have let myself be persuaded by other people. For me, I think it’s when free and technical cross over that things get cloudy in terms of art – and well, probably equally in life as well. I mentioned finding the balance in my first post regarding my self portrait. I’m seeing a pattern here.

The Harmony of Twilight and Nostalgia
This painting is a mixed media piece. It’s traditional and digital. The traditional aspects are painted textures in acrylic and oil. The woman is painted digitally, and the tree is a photograph that is painted into and added to digitally. The stars are from a photograph of a really cool wrought iron umbrella at the San Diego harbor. The tree is a beautiful huge tree that stands in a large open grassy area in front of the Mission San Luis Rey, and it is quite a tree. The digital parts are painted and cloned, and burned and multiplied, and well, very experimental in terms of procedure. That’s the way I work digitally, for the most part because it allows for a different kind of freedom.

In terms of my own work, these two pieces are two of my own personal favorites currently. It’s about the feeling I had that inspired me to paint them, the feeling I had when I painted them, and the feeling I get when I look at them. And that part I can’t quite wrap a definition around.

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