Sunday, March 22, 2015

Skip Lawrence Workshop Conclusion

I spent the last two days of the workshop on these two paintings. They are both 20" square. 

This first one has at least 10 paintings under it. Again, I was thinking mostly about texture, but also about creating space within the plane of the painting and being "involved" with it, if that makes any sense. My favorite quote from Skip for the week was "If you have nothing to say you'll say it". I wanted to say something. 

Like I said, I tried over and over to get this painting to work (and figure out what it wanted to say), layering one attempt over the other. At the end of the day of working on it I was frustrated and grumpy and drove the 60 miles home in a daze. On that drive, however, I was reminded that my eye is often drawn to the black spaces in walls and buildings created by windows and doors, particularly large garage or barn doors. That day at the retreat center where the workshop is being held I had picked out a small, smooth stone from a basket of giveaways at the front desk. The stone had the word "refuge" hand lettered with gold paint. The idea for this painting came to me before I got home. I knew exactly what I wanted to do and I was so excited about it I could hardly sleep and got back to the workshop as soon as I could the next morning. The painting came out just as I had hoped. I like the depth, the texture, and the black shape that can be anything you want it to be, you the viewer. For me, it represents a place of refuge. The beginning of a series, maybe? 
This second painting was created without as much angst or stress as the first. The blue line is an experiment. I used slightly warmer colors. There are still many layers under the top texture, so that there is an illusion of depth within the plane of the painting. I like this one, but I think I feel more connected with the first one because of what it demanded from me.
The workshop was very good for me. Skip's insights at the beginning and guidance throughout and support at the end was so helpful for getting me going on a track that I feel is somehow more legitimate than the one I was on. I don't feel I was in a bad place before, but I do feel more focused and clear about what I want to do. I have lots of ideas for new paintings! I'll keep you posted, for sure.

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