I know that the more common expression is ‘life imitating art’, or is it ‘art imitating life’? but either way, this is purely a crude device on my part to draw a decidedly tenuous analogy.
In the same way that the medical profession seems unable to diagnose the cause of my current physical malaise that continues to lay me low, I am also unable to diagnose the cause nor cure for my own artistic malaise.
I was enthusiastic about undertaking some smaller studies on some sheets of Arches rough paper that I’d cut down in size to the equivalent of 1/8th size. After a couple of rather half-hearted attempts, however, I gave up, favouring instead to go an opposite route and take on a half sheet landscape.
In what continues to feel like an artistic comfort blanket, I continue to find both inspiration and solace in Rowland Hilder’s work, in particular, his looser sketches. Here’s one of the 10 x 7 Rowland Hilder inspired studies that I did on holiday for the Heart Research UK anonymous art auction that didn’t make the cut, but which I like nonetheless:
For my half sheet bit of comfort painting, I opted for a more sweeping landscape:
Now I usually find that seeing my paintings on a screen can often flatter them, as I think the backlighting of a screen can enhance the sense of luminosity. On this occasion, however, the photo doesn’t quite do the painting the justice that it perhaps deserves. The actual painting is much more nuanced in colour and tone than it appears in this image, which I’m afraid you may just have to take my word for! I apologise that despite taking a few different photos, I wasn’t able to capture a better representation than this.
The sky, in particular, features a much more subtlety and colour and was built up with multiple thin glazes of wash. When I have the time and patience, I really enjoy seeing these paintings evolve through layer upon layer of thinly applied washes – though I also can’t deny that I used a hairdryer to help speed things along a little!
I know that at some point, I’ll need to shake myself out of this ‘comfort zone’ but, at the moment, it really does feel like I either take this approach, or I stop painting altogether for a while. My fear about this option is that in my current frame of mind, I can’t guarantee that I’ll pick up my brushes again – which is something I’m just not willing to contemplate!
P.S. Wow – What a depressing read! I wrote this last night, and then re-read it this morning ahead of my usual Wednesday posting. While it’s all accurate, I do apologise that it all sounds quite so ‘down in the dumps’. If it helps to add a little light to all of this shade, I did have some painting ideas as I was cycling to work this morning that have certainly helped to lift my spirits. I shall be striving for a much more cheerful post all round next week!