"Trees & Mystery"
I knew that something a little different was stirring in the imaginal cauldron,
so no matter how successful working on the large scale watercolors was, it
wasn't satisfying to me. The need for a new format, a different approach
and images with a different story to tell was too powerful to ignore. But this
also meant a frustrating, searching, not fun moment when everything came
into question. Am I really any GOOD at this, I asked? Can I infuse my work with
new ideas, but maintain my authenticity? What next? The only way through this
is to keep working, exploring, making horrible work, or at least, work that doesn't
feel right. To everyone else, the work looks absolutely fine, good, like I know
what I'm doing, but I KNOW. Its more like a recycling of ideas than a process
that will keep me endlessly engaged, excited, inspired.
crop of above study
of mine in graduate school saying that the percentage of art majors who continue
making art long after graduating is very low. Engaging in the creative process can be incredibly rich and endlessly challenging. With no teachers around but the work itself, artists must create their own parameters and take risks in order to grow.
above and below - small studies
It seems as though my soul demands deeper and deeper excavation in search
of meaningful stories to tell, and of late, the stories needed a deeper sense of
mystery and drama. I kept showing up the studio, making work that I found only
partly satisfying until one day, there was a confluence of ideas and materials
and a new series of work came into being.
I began with a series of small studies in my sketchbook, combining some ideas
I had worked with in some older ink drawings combining more dramatic bleeding,
atmospheric washes, and a long thin horizontal format.
At the end of the day, I had a few larger watercolors that I feel are getting to
something I need to say right now. Especially the top image on this post.
Tomorrow - and all week as its Spring Break - I will be continuing with this work
to see where it takes me. The most important thing is that I feel newly engaged.
"Forest Edge, 2", V Claff 2013
"Forest Edge", Vclaff 2013
The pin board was filling up with large-scale watercolors, but, alas, they will come
down tomorrow to hang the new work.
Out and about, there is still a boatload of snow, we have been getting regular
small storms, but there is also a warming trend and the frozen world is beginning
Some days the world looks much like my winter branch drawings.
Lucky mornings bring my owl neighbor to her
perch where we meet eye to eye.
I continue to find the camera a very useful tool to
see my subject with new eyes.
... and the editing tool helps me to play with new ideas
in the format of the new paintings.
Pasha loves days when we head to the studio, he leads the
way with enthusiasm, stepping precisely in his earlier footprints.