In my quest to dedicate quality free time to my paintings, I've found myself driven by this motivation almost every day since 2019. I must confess, I'm not the most organized artist, and this has resulted in a collection of both unfinished paintings and drawings. While I cherish the freedom to experiment without the looming pressure of deadlines, I'm beginning to see the need for change if I truly wish to improve.
Deciding when to put the brush down can be a subjective challenge. I used to wrestle with the urge to start a new piece when a canvas was around 80% complete. Thoughts would creep in, suggesting that the current painting was going nowhere, and I could always revisit it later. Over time, I've learned to push through these doubts and avoid the temptation to start afresh.
Recently, while organizing my workspace, I stumbled upon an unfinished painting that had inadvertently found its way into the hallway, my unofficial storage area for works in progress. I was on the verge of diving into a new canvas, but I resisted the urge to procrastinate and, quite literally, gave myself a pat on the back. I even had a sticky note that read "snake head!"
Over two work sessions, I meticulously added layers of mostly black, interspersed with shades of light and dark green. This part of the process was enjoyable as it required filling in and fixing layers, allowing me to switch off my analytical mind and focus on instinct. Stepping back periodically to view the bigger picture, I ensured that I didn't overdo it with too much black.
There are moments when I must compel myself to take a break. When I find my patience waning while working on minuscule details or making too many mistakes, it's a clear sign. My break ritual often involves a brief stroll around the house and quality time with my feline companion, Skills. To prevent myself from getting too lost in chores, I've learned to set a timer on my phone as a reminder to return to work.
Last night, after wrapping up work on my snake head painting, I kicked back with some music and delved into one of my sketchbooks. I have a penchant for sketching circles and intricate patterns, sometimes discovering unexpected images in the process. Other times, the pages are filled with intricate patterns, waiting to be painted over at a later date. I find that drawing complements and enhances my paintings, and I particularly enjoy blending ink and paint for mixed media projects.