I have started two difficult projects. I don’t know which is harder? One is painting my mother while she is sitting in the studio for me. After our first sitting, when I had mainly tried to make quick sketches of her, I was thrown off by how hard it was and how limited I felt. I realized that my “skills” were mainly based on two dimensional seeing whereas this required very different seeing. Also the act of “staring” and scrutinizing my own mother’s face was almost too intimate to begin with. At the second sitting I decided to throw all caution to the wind and just go for it and see where it would take med. I am almost embarrassed to show the result of that quick painting session (about one hour) but it could be interesting to follow the struggle. Size 60 x 54 cm.
The other project I have started is a somewhat larger “landscape” painting. It is a typical New Mexico scenery (almost, anyways). When I am finished I will cut it down to be 60 x 160 cm. Both these projects are throwing me way outside of my comfort zone, I feel I am taking on stuff that is far beyond my so called skills. But that is the only way to learn, to educate myself. While I am in these two processes I am reading literature about old masters, learning of their painstaking processes to become masters of their art. I don’t want to imitate them, but I still want to expose myself to the risk of failure and learning. As I have said before, if I fail I can always burn my work and get some warmth while doing that. Who cares if I fail at these projects? I should just enjoy the work and see it as a good experience.