I finished it in my digital impasto style, for a couple reasons, even though I’d thought I’d abandoned working that way because it’s just too clumsy and difficult, when it doesn’t magically work, that is. It worked well enough here, but I don’t think I’m going to use this technique on the next image.
If you’re following the series, you will have noticed by now that I keep switching up the style, rather than hunkering down into replicated a successful scheme. Part of this is just because I keep getting new ideas for different approaches. One drawing starts with lines, one with smudges, one in black and white, one in color… Sometimes I do color before shading, and sometimes the opposite. Sometimes I add color under the lines, and sometimes on top. I’m sure I’m hoping to hit on a perfect formula, and #10 and #11 were the closest I think I’ve come to it, but they had their weaknesses as well.
The self-imposed time limit of 3 days is really helping me. Normally it can take me roughly a year to produce a dozen pieces. Here I did it in just over a month, but I don’t think most of them are the same caliber as my much more ambitious pieces. However, a few may just be, and the objective in terms of improvement is to be able to make a quality image with less laboriousness.
Labor is only as necessary as it is to achieve an impression (hence the appeal of the Impressionists), and Van Gogh could knock out an amazing painting in a single sitting. Usually I think quality is much more important than quantity, and it’s better to hone one spectacular image than to make 10 merely good ones. That’s a difficult argument to counter, except that not all those ten images might be merely good, and the one that is supposed to be spectacular could fail. In any case I’m a little put off by two things in painting right now, and it’s probably just because they are the opposite of what I happen to be interested in at present. One is the laborious work I mentioned. And the other is gratuitously large works, and pieces that require hundreds of dollars of caked on paint. Could be a passing thing.
Each piece in the series has one strength that the others don’t. This one has semi-abstract, rounded forms that evoke more than they illustrate. But there was something happening early on that I was more excited about, before this image went in a different direction. I’m going to try to recaptures what was happening early on, in the next piece, and not use the impasto technique, which, while it has it’s own flavor, is a bit unwieldy as compared to what I call my “digital pastel” technique.
As for the meaning or interpretation, I’m only engaging that as much as is necessary. It’s much more about the overall mood or feel, the aesthetics, and peculiar alchemy of it.
Here’s all 13 pieces in the series so far in a slideshow.
Or, if you prefer, you can see them in a click-through gallery:
To see other posts about other pieces in this series, go here.
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