I’m working on my first large scale project since the move. It’s the reverse of an old unfinished painting, less for artistic reasons, and more because my dad had a clip-on spotlight.
Also, I bought a new tube of black paint over the long weekend.
The little canvases make it much easier to get a project done in one sitting, so I’ve painted a few of those as well:
There’s a specific window of time necessary for me to like something I made. Immediately after I finish something, when I look at it in it’s entirety for the first time instead of focusing on details, is usually when my hatred is strongest. The next day, I’m a little kinder, Then I have about a year before I hate it again. Abstracts so far have been unusual in that it depends entirely on how I look it it. My feelings toward them flip back and forth at unparalleled rates. Naturally, that makes things more difficult when I try to sell anything I make. My assurances that I’ll eventually be a rich and famous author are lost on Dad, who’s trying to teach me to “value my product” or something. Self marketing is a definitely a blind spot for me, and I’m sure for a lot of other people in creative markets in general. The problem is the objective nature of the product. I saw a piece of art today that had been carefully hung and lit, and occupied a prominent place in a house. I wasn’t really a fan, but the owner clearly saw something in it that I didn’t see. In a way it was validating. There was a market for this thing that I couldn’t value. Maybe the same can be said for my paintings. I can’t value them now, but maybe one day I will be able to. Or maybe I’ll find their market, whether I value them or not.
These little guys have Dad’s stamp of approval. He assured me he was being objective, but I’m not sure I buy it. Either way, he suggested I make little labels for them, like they do in art galleries. Who I am, what they are, 1 of 2, etcetera. I did, to make them look more official, and possibly worth human money. I also signed them all with a pin while hyped up on caffeine, which added it’s own level of difficulty.
It kind of did help me look at them more objectively. I still feel weird about charging a person money for something I painted. Even if it did take hours and little paintbrushes and money towards supplies.
I’ve started yet another new project. My sister has a lot of blank wall space, and we were talking this weekend about the possibility of me painting her something. Our parents have a few abstract paintings in their house that my sister and I always liked growing up, so she’d like to continue the tradition and get some abstracts for her house too. But preferably for free. I’ve never attempted abstract art, but I’m always up for a challenge. Earlier this week, I went to the art supply store to pick up a few new canvases. I bought a few 20″ by 20″s, but they also had 4″ by 5″s, which are insanely adorable. I bought three, because I have no self control. And because I have a tiny easel which I used to use for post it notes. It was fate. Probably. So I’m using them for practice.
So far, it’s not what she’s looking for. But this entire experience has been charming. I think she wants a more muted color pallet, which, fair. They are a little obnoxious. But I can’t help that art is a reflection on the artist. Besides, I’m keeping all the tiny trial canvases.
Pens are terrifying. Out of all the materials I’ve used, pencils, charcoal, paint, pastels, clay, yarn, etc., pens and markers are the least malleable. Once a mark has been made with a pen, it’s there. The lines they make are bold and unmoving, and every mistake seems to pop out at me. When I was younger I wouldn’t even doodle with them in the margins of my notebooks. I preferred to use pencils even when writing, because not even Wite-Out could completely obscure spelling mistakes, because the Wite-Out itself is a clear indication that something is wrong, and it’s probably that you can’t spell “Wednesday” right on the first try. But I’m trying to get more confident in my art. To use black paint and bright ink, and to hell with being intimidated by something as silly as art supplies.