Four right turns

I tend to have "Breakthrough" moments when I least expect it. I usually find myself having an "ah-ha!" moment when I finally let go and let things happen. My latest happy studio moment happened as a product of frustration. 

I began with the painting below, a nude self-portrait. I decided to work on a somewhat traditional figure painting as a way to make myself practice and work (especially since I tend to struggle with figures, particularly self-portraits), but also try to transmit a certain feel or atmosphere. To further challenge myself I decided to use a limited color palette: ultramarine blue, cadmium red and titanium white. 
Nude Self Portrait 48"x24" Oil on Canvas

I actually enjoyed the process of creating this painting; I had quite the lovely conversation going with it. I enjoyed it so much, I decided I wanted create a series. I intended on painting two more versions of the same pose, each using a different limited color palette. The second piece would be limited to yellow, red and white; and the third to yellow, blue, and white. 

However, in the process of trying to recreate the pose for the second painting, I became extremely frustrated. I was having a hard time drawing the figure, positioning her correctly on the canvas, and overall getting into it. The conversation was over, and I was left with yet another idea that fizzled away.

In my frustration I began blurring areas out, drawing random lines across the canvas, and sketching light and telephone poles and wires (a reccuring theme in my work). Before I realized it, I was working on a completely different painting. I continued deconstructing the original image, overlapping spacial planes, and adding telephone poles and wires. I then found myself smoothing down surface areas and blocking out more defined areas and shapes. The final product was something unlike anything I ever tried before. And hell, I was intrigued by it. I wanted to keep exploring it.

Violet 48"x24" Oil on canvas

Just for fun (and because I like seeing the progression), here are the three different "stages" of that painting.

Three stages of "Violet"

"Violet" led to my next painting, "Green". I began this painting in a slightly different manner in that I didn't have a base image to... deconstruct from, if you will. Instead, I began by drawing some basic geometric shapes and then letting go. I wanted to break up the space into different, yet connected, planes. And here is where that experiment took me. 

Green 48"x24" Oil on canvas

I am really enjoying this way of working. Not only am I fully engaged in the process of creating these paintings, but I also enjoy the final product. I am exploring new ideas, new thought processes, and really, really enjoying the conversation and relationship built with each of my new paintings. 

After completing "Green", I went on my merry way to create these guys: 

Untitled (Emotional) 16"x20" Oil on canvas board

Engulfed by Nothingness 16"x20" Oil on canvas board

Death mask 16"x20" Oil on canvas

And well, I'm only getting started... :)

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