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Week 11: Day -To - Day Painting Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is not an emotional state. It is a spiritual commitment, a loving surrender to our creative process. Enthusiasm - from the Greek, 'filled with God' - is an ongoing energy supply tapped into the flow of life itself. Julia Cameron

While the creative process and the execution of the work may vary among creative people, all must surrender to a creative process. Speaking of visual artists for the moment, some prepare with studies and sketches prior to embarking on their large work and thus start out with a better sense of how the piece will develop and what it will look like when finished, others start with a less highly developed expectation of the outcome. For example, a sculptor who chisels away at a block of stone must have a detailed plan of how to proceed. Still at some point, if not in the execution, then in the preliminary work of planning, all must engage in an activity that lies somewhere between the intellect and the heart. Some control must be relinquished as you look for something that you don't already know. ​To be creative, and to connect with a viewer you must be willing to be vulnerable and resist the urge to cover your true self, We must leave habits and familiar patterns of thought behind, they serve to protect and conceal . In this blog, I am showing the work in progress for the two paintings that developed over days and a "completed-in-one day" painting. All these pieces, sit within a variable border which calls attention to the surface on which the images sit. The paint and markings are rough in each painting, there is very little refinement in any of them, but they all share intensity partly due to the bright coloring, and a degree of detail which creates specific particularity. As I started this painting, I felt a need for some red, after all the blues and greens I had been using! Looking at my notes I see that it was a challenging day for me physically, still, I had made a commitment to work daily, so, I did what I could - I started! As you can see from the later developments, the underlying structure and predominant color was decided in the first session. The energetic marks became increasingly toned down with each work session but I think the energy is still apparent. The environment becomes more defined in each progressive iteration. The solo object in the first state is joined by other forms. While the foreground shape is always prominent due to its size and foreground placement, by the final version, it has relinquished its dominance and become part of a conversation. All the forms appear to float in an environment, and there is an interplay between the shapes. The objects in the final piece are defined by and distinguish themselves from the ground by the varying proportions of other contrasting colors.

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. ​Alan Alda

In this wild piece, I continues the ring explorations by shifting the perspective. The viewer seems to be hovering over the rings and observing the swirling energy forming the rings. The colors and directional marks contribute to a sense of molten rock formation. Of course I am saying this now as I look at the images, I had no such idea as I was working on the piece. ​I think this is a great example of where you can go if you let go of your habits.....

work in progress 9/6/19

Intuition is a method of feeling one's way intellectually into the inner heart of a thing to locate what is unique and inexpressible in it. Henri Bergson

The last in this predominately red series, seems to combine both the lateral and longitudinal views. The frond forms, that seem to float beside the defined ring form, reinforce the tilting plane of red. Here there is no sense of a floating environment as seen in the image from 9/5 nor is there a clear vertical direction as in the image from 9/7. This playing with planes makes this piece the most abstract of these pieces.

Composition, scale, variety in mark making and surface development through opacity and transparency are abiding considerations in all of my paintings. I am using these daily paintings to develop a vocabulary of personal symbols, at a more rapid rate then I can with the work that develops over weeks and months. Here, I simplify forms and shapes, and allow the rough handling, in order to explore more freely. I am each and every day opening myself to new exploration, and accepting each piece for what it is when I see there is no more to be done on this particular piece. I am leaving the raw right there. I am being brave, fighting my tendency to make pretty, to refine, to demonstrate my technical ability. I am feeding the creative side of my being. ​How do you feed the creative side of your being?

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