July 20, 2008

Dichotomy and Wallowing

I've noticed myself swinging between extremes in the artwork I'm creating. This really should come as no surprise to me, since in all other aspects of my life I tend to do the same thing, and I seem to be a living dichotomy. (Division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups.)

I've settled into a rhythm of working on one piece at home and one piece in my studio. At any given time I find that I'm working on one big, loose painting, and one small, extremely detailed one. In a recent post I mentioned that it wasn't my 'style' to do really tight detailed stuff, but I'm finding that it is, indeed, part of my style.

I've spent a lot of energy trying to disown that part of myself (and in art school I was informed that being tight and detailed was 'wrong'. Except, of course, in graphic design, where it was essential). I'm a Virgo, but never felt that I could relate with her. Here's Virgo's definition- meticulous and reliable, practical and diligent, intelligent and analytical, fussy and a worrier, overcritical and harsh, perfectionist and conservative. Well, as much as I don't want to own a lot of that, I can see those traits come out in myself from time to time. And I'm learning that it is OK to be those things, even though I've painted a picure of myself in my mind as being pretty much the opposite of that. So by embracing that 'dark side', and welcoming it into myself, I can be a whole person.

I digress. This piece is from a series of photos we shot of the horses one day in the pond in their pasture. They were showing off and hamming it up, the more pictures we took the more they pawed and rolled in the water. They stopped when I stopped taking pictures. I used a 5"x7" (!) clayboard and painted the basic shapes and colors over it with gouache, and then scratched away the highlights (much like black scratchboard). Then I layered some colored highlights on it. I was very intimidated by the idea of doing water, because it is hard to make it look 'real'. But it took on a life of it's own, and I felt that I was just revealing what was already there in the board.

No comments: