[singlepic id=289 w=320 h=460 float=left] Where has the summer gone? My friend Amy just reminded me she will start teaching again in two weeks. I am already most of the way through my show schedule. Summer has become my favorite season, but it disappears so quickly---divided among show days, travel days and in-between days. I'm taking advantage of a few of the latter at the moment, gearing up for Arbor Crest, Bend and Sausalito with some painting. I took my new "daisy" pastels with me to Bellevue a few weeks ago, and was somewhat shocked when I sold out of them. So, my priority for the next weeks is to paint a few more for my remaining shows.
Before getting back to the studio, I had the idea to turn one of my horizontal daisy sketches on its end and make some adjustments to create a new composition. I don't have a lot of time to paint, and planning my designs can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of the process. So I worked on that for quite a while, and even made a small sketch. I liked it, but in the end it wasn't quite as inspired as I would have preferred to take to a large size. I tried tweaking the sketch some more, but eventually set it aside and started fresh. And within a very short time, I had worked out my idea for Golden Ascent, left.
This isn't the first time I've chucked an idea and started a new sketch, when I really just wanted to get into the studio and paint. Now that I think about it, some of my favorite and perhaps strongest work has come out of similar situations. I think my tendency when clearing the slate is to go simpler in my designs. While Golden Ascent isn't simple in every respect, the overall concept of the winged shape is. This is especially intriguing to me at this moment, because on a whim last week I purchased and read the book, "In Pursuit of Elegance" by Matthew May. I don't want to give too much away, because it is a fascinating read and I highly recommend it. But in essence it is about editing, leaving out, clearing the mind of the urge to solve problems by adding. My latest pastel drove the point home nicely.
For a few more examples of my favorite simplified designs, go here.
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