6.25.2017

suffering and the art of the suck

i think the most important lesson I've learned so far in the past 12 months is that sometimes art, in its process, looks really, really, really crappy.  shitty even.  until it doesn't.  until that happens, i tolerate the awful until it become unbearable. then i close up my paints, clean out my brushes, and walk away for a while.

it always looks horrible close up during.  i finally know why paint brushes can come in such long lengths - so you can back up as far as possible from a painting which, for me, looks really, just, well, awful close up.

case and point: the current work.  a friend send me a link to a fundraiser to end homelessness.  a local nonprofit invites local artists to submit works to be auctioned off.  "we respectfully ask that the work be worth at least $25"

the theme is to be, what makes home home?  

i had just recently been moved one morning to photograph my bad right after i got out of it, and i thought i'd try to paint this.

first the underpainting:

gaa! underpainting is THE big awful.  on the other hand, it does have a kind of modernist feel to it.  
or maybe just a tacky 70s/80s feel.  
blacklight poster, anyone?
i also have learned that once i do my initial sketch from a photograph, put that photograph the f*** away, or i'll make myself crazy trying to catch every single detail. 


several passes later, i'm at this point, working in values, 
"pushing and pulling" the values, as it were.  


third pass.  okay.  those are actually starting to look like sheet wrinkles.  
next steps: i need those sheets to be a bit lighter in value.
 and i need the quilt at the foot of the bed to look less fuzzy and more quilty.
some tones mixed with zinc white should help.  
now i need that fan to look more like a fan.  And, I think I need a shadow on the side of the bed where the nightstand blocks the light.  It's early morning, and the sun is lower, so there needs to be more shadow overall.  


Gaa!  That's too dark.  But I'm happy with the depth of the top of the nightstand.




Okay, now the wrinkles are starting to look like whitecaps.  




Now I think I'm finally happy with the bed.  I think the shadow on the side of the bed, and the directionality of the light, is clearer.  
Next plans:  make the dresser a little darker and more neutral (brown) and fix the fan.  Also, the shadow next to the window frame is a bit too dramatic.  



and now I think it's done.  even though the fan is crooked and off center.  





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