Posted by on Jul 4, 2014 in Journal | 4 comments

I wish I could show you my latest finished artwork, but there isn’t one. I canno believe how slowly I work. I work a lot, it isn’t that. I am in the studio 3-4 days a week, and I usually go from 9am until 3 or 4pm. I procrastinate about other things, but not making my art. It isn’t that.

I am just slow. And now I am especially slow, because I don’t know what I am doing. I am trying new materials, new ways of working, and every step with them is unknown. I mean, I know the basics, it is just all the new stuff. I am not complaining, I love new stuff. It is exciting. But when you work in the same way for years, you get a lot quicker. You know what comes next. You know what you are doing.

So there is that. I am trying to find some elusive way of expressing that feels totally right. And it is a journey, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the destination keeps shifting. Again, not complaining. It makes the whole thing even more exciting. But it doesn’t make me efficient. Oh no. Not that.

Here is one artwork that is going as slow as molasses, as my mother used to say.

The last time it looked like this.  When was that? A month ago!

unfinished graphite painting of a young girl with pademelons

unfinished drawing/painting

 She seemed unfinished. What does she need? Raw umber? Or colour?

After blue wash

After blue wash

Not a lot different. ( If you want to read about her beginnings, go here.) I put down a wash of raw umber over all the background and then cobalt blue above the line.

It has been tentative decision by tentative decision. Why so slow? Because I have never done a painting where a graphite drawing is the dominant feature. How do I keep it dominant? If I put in colour will it be overpowered?

more glazes added

A bit darker with more umber. A slight blush to her skin.  Still not right, but better.

Its present state

Its present state

I became impatient with my tentativeness. The painting needed to be bolder. I had to either go for the neutral look with more umber brown, or jump with the colour. What do you think? Did I do the right thing?

I may just need to let her sit for a few weeks now. Then maybe I will know what else she needs, or if she is finished.