Completed: Two Abstracts

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Two abstract paintings completed today. Both acrylic on canvas (deep edge) 50 x 50cm. (left) Untitled at present. (right) Blue Sails in the Sunset.

With the end of the month looming, I spent today concentrating on trying to get some art work-in-progress completed.  I am the devil’s worst for starting new work and either taking ages to complete or just abandoning it to an obscure hiding place.  Out of sight really does mean out of mind in my studio.  If I can’t see it then it tends not to be worked on until I have a major clean up and rediscover these half-worked canvases etc.

At the start of the year I quietly resolved to attempt a start and a finish for each week of 2017.  Not a resolution of course.  Experience and self-knowledge tells me that resolutions, especially when made and disclosed, often fall by the wayside early within the first quarter of the year.  So my 2017 aim is not a resolution.  I had considered making it a resolution, because I knew I could make a fast advance on achieving this by adding the artwork for the FunAday Dundee (FADD) January event.  But that would be cheating.  So instead I set a personal goal of attempting at least one start and one finish every week after the FADD exhibition.  That was two weeks ago.

I am pleased to say that, so far, I am on track to reaching my goal.  Very much aware though that I’ve only worked through two weeks and I have many more to go.  Like a whole ten months of commitment.  Whilst I am working to a schedule there will be no foreseen problems in achieving my goal.  However when summer comes around there may very well be a multitude of distractions to cause delay.  Like my eldest daughter’s wedding in August.  And there is the visit to my home the week before that from the third daughter and her brood of boys, including the adult boy.  That might be August wiped out.  Then in September my good friend from Suffolk comes to visit for two weeks.  And that is two weeks of burn-out adventure time.  There is so much of Scotland to show her, especially as this will only be her second visit to Scotland.  Aside from those planned events, I also have to filter in visits and fun times with all four daughters and grandchildren.  I have a feeling the goal posts will be getting moved around a wee bit before the end of the year.

But it is not all doom and gloom.  So far it is all going well.  In the two weeks post-FADD I have managed to complete three art works, giving myself a head start.  This week I have completed the two above, both part of my ongoing abstract development project.  Both pieces were inspired by the smaller versions (15x15cm canvases) I did for FADD.  The Untitled one is more or less the same but larger than the smaller one (Under the Bridge), however the Blue Sails in the Sunset (this title may change) has managed to paint itself completely different to the smaller version.

The Untitled one is quite precise with its sharp lines and the only curves are in the bridge where the long boxes or shafts recede under.  I don’t feel the boxes are going away from the viewer so perhaps I should not use recede to describe their action.  I feel the boxes are more rushing out from under the bridge to meet with the viewer.  What do others think I wonder?  I know an artist friend thinks this piece of art is quite representative of an album cover.  My own thoughts about this painting is that it seems to have more male energies than female.  Perhaps that is why I am struggling to come up with a title for this piece.

Blue Sails in the Sunset has a completely different feel to it.  It was painted completely with palette knives and has many layers applied freely and thickly, sometimes being blended in wet-on-wet (particularly the sky) or applied randomly and thickly as pure colour one on top of another when dry.  There is a lot of movement within the stillness of the sun bedding down for the night.  I’ve deliberately tried to achieve this juxtaposition in order to create a form of communication.  Whether or not it works will be dependent on each viewer’s perception.  I feel I may have overworked this piece but I have decided to call it a day on this one and get it off the easel so that I can start something new.

In both paintings I used Daler Rowney System 3 Heavy Body acrylic paint.  I had some leftover paint and, as per my usual practice, I used some of this to make a start on a prepared canvas waiting in the wings to be started.  I’ll talk more about this next week.  The rest of the leftover paint went into a plastic container (the sort you get from take away restaurants) with lid and this will be used another day.  I try not to waste much.

And so ends a productive week.

~A~

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Small Talk

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FunaDay Dundee 2017 exhibition display

Yesterday was an eventful day in more ways than one but I am pleased to say that I managed, without my car, to get all 32 paintings to the Dundee Wasps studios as planned and hung ready for this weekend’s exhibition. (see photo left)

Preview: Friday 10 Feb 7pm-9pm

Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 Feb 10am-7pm

At: Wasps Studios (level 4), Meadow Mill, West Henderson Wynd, Dundee DD1 5BY.

All welcome – I’ll be there Fri & Sat.

My 2017 project is about communication through art and so I thought I would call this one-a-day-in-January project ‘Small Talk’.  Originally I had intended to set out the paintings in the order I had done them but it did not flow so well.  Probably as I managed to do an extra painting in the month of January.  I felt that the small deep edged abstract (bottom right) would look good on a larger canvas, so I managed to get a 50x50cm deep edge canvas done over the last two days.  32 paintings in one month is quite some task I can tell you.  I had some idea of what I was going to do for each day but as the days slipped by I found that other ideas and inspirations were coming to mind.  Some I am more fond of than others and there is one that I really do not like much at all but felt I had to put it in as it was part of the project.

It has been a wonderful way to start the year.  The activity itself has produced new ways of working, new ideas and a rather full project folder which will see me through most of this year.  I certainly feel more energised and enthusiastic about my art.

~A~