The process may drive me mad but the outcome will be worth it
Today (yesterday for you!) I worked on my self-portraits some more.
Big steps. Bold colours.
I had an image up from one of the artists I love. His work is textured and expressive and so damn powerful. I didn’t want to copy his style, that’s not my thing, but to be inspired by it.
After all, there’s already one Andrew Salgado in the world. We don’t need a poor copy. Not when I can be the most awesome version of me around.
What I was looking at in Andrew’s work was just the depth. The interesting extras you don’t expect to find in portrait work.
Because where I started with these paintings today would normally be my done. This is where I stop.
And that’s not the point of this exercise. The point is to push my skills. Push my techniques and style. Hell, even push myself further.
Magic happens when work goes on long after the artist is tired or done or just uninspired.
I’m not even kidding about this.
I took a 30 days 30 paintings challenge a few times a while back. The first time was to put together a large enough body of work to share with shops and galleries.
I’d never painted daily before… not since school anyway.
Painting daily meant that I had to be organized. That I had to have a solid plan. That I had to show up in spite of being tired or uninspired.
You know how some people say they wait for inspiration? Hoping for the Muse?
Those are the people who have the odds stacked against them. And they do it to themselves.
The Muse comes when you’re already doing the work and then she shakes things up completely.
About halfway through the challenge, I was exhausted. I was working full days and painting at night. And to top it off, I was a slower painter then than I am now. 6-8 hours per canvas.
I loved what I was doing but I was hoping for, working (!!) towards change.
And that change came when I had only an odd sized canvas to work on. No desire to continue. And a huge fuck it attitude.
And suddenly my style changed completely. Free from expectations for the outcome. Free from following rules I had made up about painting. Free to just let go and paint simply because I was already there.
This is what I’m doing here with the self-portraits.
Not working towards physical exhaustion but working in a way that is contrary to my normal methods.
Using translucent glazes.
Painting layer upon layer but blending. Mixing. Refining.
Not like my old, pre-fuck it style from a few years ago. This is far more deliberate.
And something just happened. Something IS happening. Mainly because I am not attached to the outcome. I am open to failure.
I like where things are going. I’m loving the washes and the slow build. I love how dulling down the white changed everything.
I’m actually excited about it!
But now I have to wait for the paint to dry before I add the next layer.