Sunday, November 28, 2010

Back Nine

Ghetto Cowboy is nearing its finish line. It has been quite a journey, and .... wait a minute. Why am I talking like it is finished? There's lots that could still happen in a few weeks. I could lose my hand in a boating accident. I could sleepwalk to my studio and paint out the faces in every piece. I could obsess about each little detail so much that it drives the life out of the painting and I have to start from scratch. (Here's hoping none of those come true.)

I am nearing the last lap and this is a good time to think about how I am feeling about the project so far. One of the things I like to do is to assess how happy I am with the style at that point in time. Did I do it just because that is what I did for my last book? DO I still like this style? Am I wishing I could be looser? Tighter? More graphic? More painterly? If so, I need to find a way to bring some of that into the next project. And there is really no better way to do that than to just have a session and paint the hell out of a bunch of canvases and boards. Try stuff out. Play around. Try to tell the same story several ways. See which piece rises to the top.

As a nice mental break from book work throughout the days and nights, I set my illustrations on the counters in my studio and take quick little dips into the water of exploration. While working on some portraits and other jobs, I try out new directions and techniques. Who knows. Maybe some will turn out. If not, they can spend a few months or years in the closet. The important thing is to keep myself from getting stiff joints, artistically. I want to always be learning and in the process of finding out how to do it.  The search is the destination. Otherwise, it is like a spoiled kid on the day after Christmas. No drive, no life. No goal, no soul.

Back to work. See you when it's finished.