Step by Step 2010 – preface

The idea of documenting the process and my thoughts on a painting from start to finish initially sounds exhausting, and as usual, I'm always wary of providing too much information. Not that I have some top secret painting techniques or anything, but more that it generally feels a little more personal than just posting a finished piece and allowing people to process it their own way. (there's a fine line between being a private guy and keeping a blog on the internet for the world to read...and that fine line was likely crossed years ago so I should probably stop worrying about it). And of course I'm constantly asking myself if people really want all this information? which is another moot point -- it's my own blog, and if people weren't interested,  they wouldn't read it right? why worry? Besides, I've done 'step by steps' three times before, [here] & [here] & [here], and people seemed to enjoy them. I also read other artists blogs constantly, and find them entertaining and very educational -- if anybody gets a little of that from anything I post here, i'm happy. So there you have a very abbreviated version of my thought process on these entries, and a preview of the meanderings to come. Am I aware that I felt the need to justify posting on my own blog? yes I am. You'd think with a couple websites, a facebook page, a decrepit myspace profile, a half-ass Twitter account, and who knows what else, I'd be comfortable with the presumed ego one needs to self-promote. Which is not to say I don't have an ego, because I do, and it's awesome. But I digress...

I'm ready to get serious now.

This piece will be a bit of an experiment, in that I'm consciously planning to both loosen up a bit, and to purposely leave some elements of the piece drippy and incomplete.  I'm doing this for a number of reasons, not least of which is that I'm feeling a little too comfortable with where I am with my own work right now -- and that's boring.  I'm also afraid I'm dangerously close to reaching that point where the subject is too rendered, too crisp. There's a sweet spot i've become very aware of: where a painting is realistic but still a painting -- it could look like a photo from a certain distance, but the brush strokes and movement aren't lost upon closure inspection.  Personally, I don't want to have to use a magnifying glass to see the obvious signs an artist was there. And It's very easy for me to obsess over a painting's detail and render it into oblivion. I love it when a painting hits that sweet spot, and I've been trying to keep that in mind lately.

phew. Stay tuned for Day One.