Whew. I finally got started again today. I began work on four small 8×10 inch acrylic paintings. I always work on four at a time so I can move on to another as the paint dries on the freshest one. That way I keep limber and keep moving. I like working on multiple things. It helps me concentrate.

It feels good to get started on the four because I know I’ll finish them. Lately I have been busy making drawings and such but I haven’t finished anything. For me finishing a drawing isn’t the same as finishing a piece of artwork because a drawing is the means. A print or painting is the ends. That’s where the art takes place. I like drawings because they’re the guts of a piece of art but I find satisfaction in the finishing.

In order to finish a painting I have to have a good idea of what it is going to look like in the end. In the beginning that is. You see, it’s in the beginning I have to be able to envision the painting and then work towards that vision. Putting paint on a canvas with no idea of where I want to go doesn’t work for me. Some people may be able to pull it off but I can’t. I need the drawings. That is where the envisioning is done. That’s where I lay down the trail for my paintings to follow.

My problem wasn’t an odd one. It was a problem of having too much vision. Or maybe just seeing all of the same things over and over. I was finishing drawings but there was a sameness to my process. I knew what the finished painting would look like as I completed the drawing. That was before I even got anywhere near the painting process. At times I have a tendency to over plan my work so I purposefully leave some wiggle room in my decision making so I can find surprises in the final steps of painting. Recently I could see the surprises coming so clearly they weren’t surprises. I was boring myself. Not a good place to be.

So I tasked myself with finding new ways to paint. That is trickier than it sounds. I paint the way I do because that’s what interests me. I don’t have money or fame to motivate me to paint I just have my own interest in painting. I’ve gone down other paths and painted other ways but usually found them lacking. If a new approach to painting doesn’t interest me than I won’t paint. But the same path gets dull after a while too. Even if it goes to a pleasant place. Hence no finished paintings. Some half finished ones though. I guess they have their value.

So I thought about it, paced, distracted myself, made drawings, and worked for a living. That’s been going on for many weeks now. I even started a couple of projects including a series of faces in ink and some drawing for new prints. I haven’t been idle. But I finally just started to paint today. I couldn’t fret over it any more. I don’t even care if they turn out bad. They’re kinda new and messy and lack my normal orderliness but what the hell. We’ll see.

My vision might not be as clear but isn’t that what I wanted? I believe so. I don’t know the exact direction these pieces are going in. They’re not a radical departure in any way but they are different enough. Different enough for me to have a vision of what I want them to be but the vision is a little vague and quite blurry. Nothing is in focus yet. But that’s what’s keeping me interested. Trying to hone that focus until it’s razor sharp. It’s all about the process, baby.