QUESTION #2: Because I have a need to work quickly, how can I work in collage while feeding the need for speed? (This is a very personal question that is based upon a very specific need I have as an artist). In answering this question I have two examples. The first is a painting I did of aspen that is specifically acrylic. The second is a collage I did a couple of years ago in a workshop. I was able to accomplish the speed as I worked a bit more in the abstract, and laid papers down for the background very quickly. I then painted more background right over the papers. I had some homemade papers for the trees already so I applied them. Then, more quick strokes to give shadows to the tree trunks.
The part of the pure acrylic painting I enjoyed the most was doing the background...the darks and the quick impression of leaves. I was a bit frustrated with the trees because it took longer than I wished it would to paint them from beginning to end.
The part I enjoyed about the collage was larger...laying in all the background papers...quickly painting the background, and adapting the homemade papers to the trunks. The part I liked least was applying the detail to the trees...but that wasn't all that frustrating. Hmmm...I think over-all I enjoyed the freedom the collage work afforded me...with a little of the unknown thrown in for good measure...made it exciting. I didn't know where it was going from moment to moment. All of a sudden I looked up and it was finished...FUN. That reinforces to me that even though I like the end result of both paintings, the collage was more fun for me.
I didn't enjoy the process of collage version of the Sunflower Quad as much because it was too much work to cut each petal...it went too long...it didn't give the effect of the free look the collage tree painting gave me...INTERESTING discovery! The end result will be merely a different “look” than the purely painted one, which went quickly and I felt that freedom of expression while painting it...I will finish the collage version, but have been delayed the past couple of days with life stuff...:)
After these ponderings I have almost put myself closer to a conclusion....(can you see the words I used...still seeking safety of the decision being out there) but at the same time...am back where I started...(though with more knowledge about how to talk about my work; thanks to friends comments) Closer because I have isolated the fact that I like a bit of the unknown during process. I have also isolated and confirmed that I like to work quickly. It enhances the unknown and freedom I seem to crave in my work. Back where I started because I have examples of work that I like equally...one collage method, one painted...I like my collage tree paintings more...I like my painted flowers more...hmmm...is my answer tied into subject matter? Is it a style in itself, born from my very specific needs? I enjoy flowers...and am not as familiar with subject matter as I am familiar with trees...loving this process although it is a bit scary at moments.
Do you now see how identifying a problem or goal or issue you have with your style or work and then beginning by asking yourself questions bring you to further questions...and some answers? Very successful process I have found...so far anyway! Did I answer my question? I think in part. I can work more quickly with collage in backgrounds and on trees...for flowers, not so much...Hmmm...background for flowers perhaps...we shall see.
I spent a lovely couple of hours over the weekend visiting Jane Hunt's studio and picking my next piece to come home with me. Jane is a wonderful artist and has become a very important friend to me. I admire her determination, her talent, and her straightforward way of saying things that helps to bring clarity. Yes, we talked about my current process. She was very helpful! Thank you Jane!
So, back to the studio to finish the collage, consider my next question to ask myself, and to mail James Parker's choice for the latest follower contest. He chose the “Snow Bunnies” as he calls them; I love the name...
Happy Painting to you all!