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The problem with being consistent in artmaking

June 19, 2016

color pencil sketch from my sketchbook


Being consistent doesn’t necessarily go along with exploring different processes and ideas.

I have a show opening in a few weeks, and I’m trying to finish up a couple of pieces to fit with the ones I have already painted. Being faced with the issue of consistency in the work, and wanting to reject it AS an issue (art critics, beware!), I waited a long time after I started these two pieces to work on them again. I’m doing something I love: making marks and isolating shapes with layers of paint. But I keep asking myself whether these will fit well in the show because they are starting to look different from the other paintings in the series. Basically I have had to remind myself of why I am painting in the first place: I’m exploring ways to paint the ideas lurking in my head, to butter the canvas with colors I love or that interest me, and to satisfy the urge to create.

Apparently I don’t think consistently either since my work hops around a lot and at any given time I have five or six active sketchbooks (when I can find them all).

I think painting is a microcosm for life. It’s a process and it has its own logic, if you even want to label it as logic. It works best when you are immersed in it…not measuring it or comparing it, but appreciating it in the moment of experience.

Here’s how the two pieces are evolving so far:

Number one: The starting point for this painting is on the left and the “right now” point is on the right:

Working painting - two steps

I’m hovering on the verge of done with this one (mixed media, 36 x 36” on gallery-wrapped canvas).

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Number two: I’m right on the verge of YIKES with this second one below, starting point on the left and and current point on the right (mixed media, 36 x 36” on gallery-wrapped canvas).

Working painting - two steps

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Here is one of the earlier paintings in the series (one of the “troublemakers”):

P. S. eternity

P.S. eternity (mixed media, 36 x 36” on gallery-wrapped canvas)


Today I’m taking a break and painting the guest bathroom cabinets at our house…and I’m being very consistent.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mikki Aronoff permalink
    June 19, 2016 6:21 pm

    I always love reading about your process (and angst!). Never fear – your work is stunning! I’m always jealous. 😦 I seem to be locked into poetry right now. Wish WAG were Wednesday Anything Group! 🙂 mixxxxx

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

    • June 21, 2016 1:25 pm

      Mikki, thanks for reading my post and commenting! I always like hearing about what other artists are thinking and doing–sharing process notes (and angst) are a way to stimulate that dialogue a bit. And thanks for your kind comment about my work; it’s very much appreciated. I think poetry fits right in to WAG. Maybe you just need another poet to be there??


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