5/2/10

CHALLENGED

Working with YUPO and fluid acrylics last week at a workshop, I was challenged to stretch beyond my comfort zone. Our extraordinary workshop instructor, Sandi D'Allesandro, asked us to not only title our paintings BEFORE we started but also to determine the content of the message we wanted to convey.

Like most artists, nearly every painting I do begins with a new, self imposed challenge to help me push forward, but this direction was way out of my comfort zone. Whether it's good or bad, I seldom know or realize what I'm actually 'saying' until the painting is completed. That's one of the reasons I paint - to express myself. It's much easier for me to express myself with paint than get tangled up with words or with ideas that I can't verbalize. Though I so admire content-driven artists, it's not usually the direction I choose.
The future painting was to be called 'MARRIAGE' and its focus was the last 42 years spent with my honey. Apples and giraffes would certainly show up in the painting, but besides that, my only plan was to have fun and explore. The final painting, finished today, is the photo posted first. The next photo below shows the painting yesterday when it came really close to going in the trash. How ugly could I make it? The colors were nasty in places, and overall, there was no pattern of design to grab the eye. This next photo shows the piece as it was last Sunday at the end of the workshop, (when I thought it was completed.) After looking at it in the studio for several days, I realized that it had a long way to go before I'd want to look at it for any length of time. The last photo above shows just the beginning stages of the painting. Approaching work with this type of Chaos to Control offers such a wealth of learning experiences. When I began, I had a general idea of what would happen.... wrong!

The painting was a big struggle, but now I'm really enjoying it. And yes, it does speak to me a whole lot about marriage, in its design as well as in the effort it took to make everything work together in the painting. The bonus? My honey liked it, too! The new title is FORTY TWO 'n counting.... on heavy weight YUPO 26x20"

12 comments:

Linda Schuler said...

It is so good. I love it!!!!

Chris Beck said...

Love how you resolved it, Sandy!! Neat to see the progression too. Thanks for posting the group of pictures.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Great title and one can see the struggle to get to the finish you wanted to express it. It shows, harmony, heart (where the most interesting and definite shapes appear) and each circular shape depicts for me special times in your life together. Wonderful.

Dawn said...

it turned out great Sandy! so did you cover up the wild colors or can you wipe them off like WC?
congratulations on 42 years!

RHCarpenter said...

I really enjoyed hearing about the process for the creation of this one - how you had to have your title and idea first, then start painting, and how you thought it was done but it wasn't - there was more to say. Sounds like a great and very challenging workshop! Oh, and did I say I like the painting? Well, I do, although I'd probably have changed the name to "The Apple of My Eye" with all those apples there :) Glad your honey liked it, too.

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thanks for the comments, y'll. Dawn, I did wipe some out to create more textures, using rubbing alcohol on a towel or tissue. Mostly, though, the ugly stuff is hidden underneath the new better colors...kind of like life.
Rhonda, I've thought of several titles, and I really like yours, too. Thanks.

Cynthia said...

What a great story!!! So interesting to see what it took out of you to get it where it went...wow,,,just wonderful result too..........what an inspiration!

Suzanne McDermott said...

Apples and giraffes. Hmm... I've definitely missed some critical content along the line somewhere. Fantastic result. Thanks for writing about moving out of your comfort zone. Now I am intrigued and almost inspired about the content first approach. I'm with you on expressing first, verbalizing after.

AK said...

The process was confusing but the end was Amazing.

jane minter said...

i think you've expressed yourself beautifully sandy .. the two white apples remain with all the layers and colours .

Deb Townsend said...

I love this painting and love hearing about your process too. Wonderful colors and textures. I tried to click on them to view them a little larger, but the links didn't work. I'd like to examine them more closely. Fantastic work, as usual!

Ann Buckner said...

What a treat to see the transitions this painting went through. Love the finale.