mastery of medium
I'm excited that I have almost finished this series of landscape drawings. By this time next week I hope to have packed up and shipped two finished commissions and at least started packing eight pieces for Effusion Gallery. Their busy summer season is fast approaching and since opening two years ago have sold something like thirty pieces of my work, so I don't want to miss out on this year's rich vacationers from Calgary! :) Completing an oeuvre is good but the truth is, I'm long overdue for a change and a challenge. Doing these drawings is kind of zen-like. I know my materials pretty well now, so there are no surprises, and the subject matter, though endless in variation, also has few surprises. I have abandoned pretty much all other drawing media except coloured pencil for these. The upside is the subtle layering of colour I can achieve; the downside is that, being on black paper, these drawings require really good lighting to show at their best.
The other medium I have spent a lot of time with over the past few years is acrylic paint. My favourite way to use it is without any kind of medium (except a touch of water), applied in flat, opaque layers. No glazing or paint texture. I have climbed a lot of hills but also had a lot of fun developing a style not dissimilar to my coloured-pencil drawing style, though the imagery is usually different.
Enter my recent experiences with oil paint. I don't know the medium, it presents me with a ton of both technical and stylistic problems, and that's what excites me. At the same time I'm tackling new imagery. I really need the challenge. I need to get to that obsessive place again where my mind won't leave a problem alone, because that's when I make progress. Failure is a large part of it.
Onward to glorious failure!