Monday, January 23, 2012

An Odd Mix. Some Works in Progress.

Reworking an older painting on Bristol plate paper 22X30

 Happy New Year to everyone!  I wish you all a creative and prosperous 2012.

I have in the last couple of years been in keeping with the idea of working on a painting until I like it myself and would want to keep it and look at it everyday if it was hanging on my own wall.  In fact I do actually hang them on my living room wall and live with them until I either think of something else they need, get sick of looking at it and take it back to the studio to figure out or "that nice boy I married" gets sick of looking at it and asks if I have anything new to look at.  If no one is tired of it and it sits there until there is something else to take it's place, I deem it satisfactory and don't mess with it anymore.
                                                                                          That probably seems like the logical process               now that I say it that way but what I used to do was get an idea for a painting, execute it, evaluate it for content and completeness according to the original plan and then call it finished.  If I didn't like it or think it turned out as planned I just gave up on it.  I never wanted to, for example, add acrylic to a traditional watercolor or collage to a painting of any medium unless it started out as a college project.  I would never crop a painting to make it better or add line or anything that wasn't part of the original plan.  My new attitude is if it's not working, start thinking outside the box and use whatever necessary to make it a better painting. I was very hung up on "Well it's a watercolor so I can't fix it or that is cheating."  I like Chagall's quote of "I work with whatever medium likes me at the moment" and I will add my own "I like whatever process and medium gets me to an image I am satisfied with in the end"
  I find that I am confusing people by doing what they perceive as several different styles of work but I am actually using abstraction to make my mind think differently in my figurative work.  The abstractions started out as a means to an end but I discovered that not only did they help my other work but I really like the process and the paintings  themselves and other people like them too.  I usually have up to 10 paintings in the works at the same time so to me they all seem like they relate as I go from one to the other depending on which one I have figured out what to do next on.  My methods are working for me and I am finding that I'm not that concerned if I fit into the basic "artist" mold.  By letting go of some of those restraints and rules, I am finding the fun and excitement of painting again which I had lost for a while. What's your story?

Watercolor on Coldpress paper. Abstracted realism 22X30

Mixed media on Hot press watercolor coated with gold gesso

Actually, another older painting that was unfinished
on Yes! Canvas 30X24 


Jeane said...

Tonya, Oh, how I think you nailed it!! finding what works for you! it's so important, no? I have enjoyed looking at this work you show - wonderful - your signature style shows in all of them, :)

-Don said...

Yep, your methods are definitely working for you. I'm a firm believer that what we're doing must be fulfilling to us. What does it matter what medium or techniques we employ to reach our end results? I feel the love in your work. Keep it coming!


Jan Locander said...

I am happy to see you working again and I love the direction that you are going. I is enlightening to read your thought process as you move forward. I can't wait to see what comes next.Love you!

Nick said...

Oooooh I really love that first abstract - great!
I do the same with paintings in progress, even frame and hang them. Alternatively, I put them away so I can't seem them in the "curing shed" (corner of the studio). They're out of sight, and largely out of mind, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm working on them. :)
So you were a rulemonger, now reformed? Yes at some point it becomes like streetfighting, do whatever it takes to win!

Maggie Ruley said...

At times the end really does justify the means. Maybe it would be better if we got away from the word "rules" and just called them quidelines or best practices. I think the image with the women's heads where you have divided the picture plane in half is a very good example of you breaking the rules to your advantage. Anyway, thanks for the very interesting comment on "shore leave" I had no idea about the shiny shoes, and yes come to think of it the camo is seen around town these days.

Tonya Vollertsen said...

Hi Jeane, thanks for the support. I appreciate your taking a look at my work. I do think it is important to find what works rather than forcing yourself into a mold.

Don, thanks for the encouraging words. I try to take note from your work which always seems joyful and fun and often even mysterious, which is great. I'll have to get back over to your blog to see how things turned out.

Hi Jan, yep, still plodding along over here. Thanks for your comments and encouragement. I love your new designs, I get so many compliments on the new pieces i got for Christmas! Love and miss you! Thanks for all you do.

Hey Nick, thanks for taking the time to stop by. You are a busy man! I don't know that it was so much a rule thing as a purist kind of mentality ... kind of like not wanting fruit and nuts in your jello sort of a thing. I was going along just fine happy as a lark until I could't work one day because I was stuck on several paintings at one time. As I listened to my thinking process I realized that I was restricted by my own purist mentality not only in my mediums but also subject matter. Funny how we are usually our own biggest stumbling block.

Hi Maggie, thanks for visiting! I really like what you have been doing lately. I need to get back to my blog visiting routine as i have been missing out on some great work from my blogger friends. I do think that the end justifies the means a lot to the time but there is still something to be said for trying to work out your painting within certain restrictions to get a particular result. Like in Watercolor for instance, you can't really get that same sparkle and glow by slapping on some white paint as you get with saving the white of the paper. So there is that.

liz hill said...

good to see you back at it again. Carry on...

Tonya Vollertsen said...

Thanks Liz!

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