Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Painting in Process--Pine Ridge Nebraska

triptych:  each panel 36"h x 30"w
oil on canvas

I have been continuing my work on this commission between illustration jobs and my other painting.  It's  been quite the process!  As some of you may have read in previous posts, this painting represents a return to a style I worked in many years ago.  At that time, the early 90's, my infatuation with Georgia O'Keeffe's work and a new desire to paint the high desert landscape came together.  I thoroughly enjoyed traipsing through the rock formations and canyons of eastern Oregon where I would do watercolor sketches from which to make my large oil paintings.  I loved just using the sketches and photos as points to depart from in order to paint how the landscape felt to me.  This commission is of an area in Nebraska which I have never visited.  From numerous photos, though, and the encouragement of the person who commissioned this painting, I am enjoying going back to that feeling of improvisation as I paint.

And this brings me to an interesting place!  For the last four years, ever since I discovered the daily painters (Karin Jurik and Carol Marine in particular!), I have put alot of energy into my own daily paintings, working on a small scale and using photos ALOT for reference as I try to achieve a level of realism I hadn't worked for before.  It's opened up a new world of painting for me and I love it.  It seems like so many things in life lately have been urging me to do my work differently and I'm questioning just what that means.  I feel like I'm still looking for my "voice"--after all these many years!!  Kind of frustrating!  I'm wondering if this experience of painting this commission and the way it allows me to paint more freely is an invitation to see how to get that quality into my figurative work.  I would like that--the painting more freely part, not worrying so much about "getting it right".  I don't know what it looks like--but I guess that's kind of the point!  I'm not sure how I feel about all this--guess a person just has to trust the process. . .

1 comment:

Paula K. Cravens said...

We seem to be on similar paths. I too have become infatuated with the figure and stuggle to get Looser. I'm liking your cliffs. It may inspire me to paint our hoodoos.