Reading this post by Ruth Singer stuck a cord with me. I am aware that I often take long breaks from blogging when I am actually painting (as well as when I am not!). My main reason for not sharing ‘work-in-progress’ is usually because I am working on a commission or gift for a friend.
I work intuitively by layering the painted surface and, as a natural part of this process, some things will work and others most definitely will not (and need to be covered-up!). The painting process is also a bit of a battle; if something goes drastically wrong I don’t even won’t to look at it, let alone share it with anyone else!
If a painting is for a gift, aside from not wanting to share the mistakes that went into its creation, it often also needs to remain secret. This is so the recipient doesn’t know what it is I am doing/doesn’t have an opportunity to say that they don’t want it (I don’t need any more canvases cluttering-up my house)!
In the interests of trying to convince you that I am indeed still currently painting I can reveal that I am now working on a portrait of Kylie Minogue and a pheasant (two separate canvases not together!). These are both (very belated) gifts for friends so I am not able to share too much as they are far from resolved. In the interest of being brave he is a rather abstract snippet from an element of the pheasant canvas:
Not very pheasant-like I agree, but will have to see if my plan involving this part of the canvas in the context of the wider composition works.
I like to work on a couple of things at a time (even better if they are very contrasting subjects) so I can alternate between them. This allows me to keep painting even if I get ‘stuck’ with one particular canvas. This not only allows me to build-up a regular routine of painting, but also allows me time to think about a canvas before re-visiting it to try and resolve whatever wrongness has occurred.
I will be starting work on a couple of new(ish) paintings for my own practice over the coming weeks and I am more than happy to share progress reports on these (there is no-one apart from myself to feel disappointed if I mess these up or make a bad decision!).