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Denovo ...Begin Again. and again. and again

Life is not so much about beginnings and endings as it is about going on and on and on. It is about muddling through the middle. Anna Quindlen

The Latin term denovo means beginning again, afresh, anew. The last blog was all about endings. This one is about beginning again and again and again... I've been back in the studio again, working on a 40 x 30" painting that I started last spring. I was working on "Praise Up" pretty consistently at that time and the progress was very slow. Out of that consistent work on Praise Up I had this burst of energy and an inspiration that had to do with the early spring colors that I was seeing right then.

A view of the studio in June. The painting on the floor is the spring inspired painting.

I actually got up at 5 o'clock in the morning and went upstairs to the studio and painted for a little bit. The next time I went to the studio I returned to working on Praise Up. As the summer wore on I began to work on the "Cloud series" . Occasionally I would go up and look at the canvas and I just wasn't sure how to proceed. I began and finished another painting, still not knowing how to proceed. Then I had a show coming up, my time and attention were consumed with the preparations: the planning, the framing, the wiring and so forth. After the show I finally got back up to the studio to resume working on this piece. I did not know where to start. I was disconnected from the inspiration I had when I started.

I returned, determined to work and work until I felt a connection to this painting again. Determined to keep at it until light switches on in my head. The top is full of delicate curlicues of pale yellow-greens and very light yellow-pinks - early spring colors. I studied and pondered and then filled in the bottom with some completely different colors. Dark blues and violets in broad, wide strokes. I blended blues from the bottom up the sides and infiltrated the top to make the piece more cohesive. I added new colors , smaller strokes to the bottom I brought some lighter shads to the bottom. I return again and again and try to find my way. Meanwhile, that voice in my head starts asking " what are you doing?" and " you know what you're doing this looks like nothing you've ever done before . You cannot show this painting with any other paintings!" This is where the discipline comes in. Returning to the studio, when it would be easier to go watch TV, or do laundry, or vacuum, or read ...pretty much anything really. I have to ignore the voice in my head. I have practice ignoring that critical voice. (Meditation helps with this) If I did not know how to ignore it, that critical voice would stop me in my tracks. This is what those folks who think artists just get inspired and create a painting out of thin air don't comprehend. The inspiration comes from working through the dry spells.

I need to give myself some other options. So I start a new canvas. I use some of the colors from my palette. This is how you start, or rather, this is how you continue. I know something will click eventually and I'll be painting, and enjoying the journey. I know it will happen if I continue to work. Just now, it is so hard. Sigh...

Meanwhile here are two pieces that will be included in the Winter Exhibition at THE ART GALLERY at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 79 S. Livingston Ave. Livingston, NJ December 3, 2015 - February 11, 2016 Opening reception 5-8 PM December 3

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