Here is the last one and if not finished, it is at least very close to being so - I'm not completely happy with the colours in this photo though: they are deeper and richer in real life - I tried darkening it a bit but then everything became dull, especially the light colours and the darks just died and lost definition. My camera has been acting up lately in different odd ways so I'm thinking that it may be time for a new one. But I don't really want to have to deal with that at this time.
This painting took a bit more effort than it's mate (leaning on the wall) and I think that the blurry brush below gives a good indication of that! It will now go up on my living room wall so that I will see it at different times and in different light without really paying attention - I find that that is the best way of discovering details that need changing - otherwise I'm too close to it to be truly objective. And on July 2 it will meet the discerning and critical (but friendly) eyes of two very good long time artist friends, whose work I respect, and they will tell me without mercy!
We have now met monthly for close to ten years to show each other our new work in order to get an honest opinion and positive critique, and it is invaluable: we are truly ruthless and who else will tell you?? Every one else will want to be nice - or even worse: polite - and/or may not really know much about art so will not feel confident enough to give you their true opinion; but with these two I know that if they say it stinks, at least they know what they are talking about and they have my best interest at heart and are not just out to hurt me!! They have never actually said that but rather: you can do better than that - now go home and do some more work on it - or put it away and get back to it later. We never say WHAT to do as that is up to the artist to figure out and usually, if you agree (you are under no obligation to believe them) you can most often see what the problem is - so when you start again it will become clear. Another benefit of our meetings is that it keeps you working so that you will have something new to bring - and something that measures up! We also mention good points, of course!
So this is all well and good, but what am I going to do with these new paintings? A good question as I'm not a member of the Fort Gallery anymore so I don't have a yearly show coming up - my choice, as it became too much pressure both to show and to volunteer to all the work needed in a co-operative gallery, as well as dealing with the long commute in ever increasing traffic, especially more and more huge trucks going fast! I don't really know, except that I wanted some time to just paint without pressure and see where it took me - that continues though I'm starting to think about what to do next? In a little while I will probably start looking around for opportunities to have a show somewhere interesting - but not just yet! We will see - getting a show is easy, but getting it where you want it - NOT so easy!
At this point the two canvasses that I'm working on look as if they could work quite well as a diptych - but that was never my intent! The canvas to the right is finished but I'm still trying to figure out what to do with it's mate on the left and just put them together to see how they worked that way. The tapes are a way to try out different lines etc. and they get moved around a lot - and this work is not coming together as easily as the other one - it has changed quite a bit since above and I'm getting frustrated and wondering if it will ever work out! Quite a few areas are looking good - my problem now is to get them to fit together and to get the colours and shapes to jell as a whole.
Sometimes I really wonder why I keep doing this and right now I think, that I just need a break from painting - some time to do other things and as they say "smell the roses". Life is short and who really cares if I keep painting or not - there are so many other artists producing good paintings out there, so does the world really need more paintings?? I admit that I am a little discouraged at the moment, partly due to the general lack of interest in buying original art - as evidenced by the galleries closing down and our digital society's thirst for what's new, to be replaced when something else new comes along - and the easy availability of mass produced prints and the like.
Another reason for my feeling a little despondent is that I just found out that a lovely young woman in my extended family passed away yesterday - it is so sad to see the young go - and even if we all knew, that she was terminal she seemed to be holding her own on treatment and it was still a shock. Cancer is every where it seems with no regard for anything - she leaves behind a four year old daughter, a husband, parents, siblings and a large group of friends. Who have all been pulling for her with fundraisers to support cancer research etc. - my son-in law is doing the "Ride for Cancer" from Vancouver to Seattle for the second year here in June. Unfortunately, for Vanessa it is now too late - but hopefully others in the future will benefit.
But in the meantime I will soldier on and bring this one home so that I can be happy with it, I hope. And even if I say, that I will take a break from painting - I know very well that it won't be long before it starts all over again. The process is master and it drives me relentlessly - and what else would I do????????????????,