I got so immersed in what I was doing last weekend that I totally forgot about documenting something for my blog. That’s a good thing, right? I was watching TV (of course) last night, on BBC America, a new show called “2012”. The characters are responsible for putting on the London Olympics. One of them was keeping a video blog, following her progress in getting in shape to run the marathon at the Olympics. Her blog and the training was intended to demonstrate support and enthusiasm, etc. for the Olympics, but she inadvertently divulged some inside information, which promised to land her in hot water, so she ordered the whole blog removed from the web. (Hope you were able to follow all those clauses–we sometimes can’t resist a good long compound sentence!) Then she explained her action to the omnipresent interviewer something like this (I didn’t take notes so please just take this as the message my brain received, not necessarily the message that was directed to my brain): “Well I was only keeping the blog up to talk about my training for the marathon, and I was only training for the marathon to have something to put in the blog.” Loved that. The rest of the show is pretty good, too. I so admire the way the Brits serve up humor–gently. But to get back to the point–I am glad that I am not (yet) painting merely in order to have something for the blog.
Such a build up. Now for the letdown. My big project of the weekend is not fit for public eyes. It may never be publishable, but I don’t feel my time was wasted. I am working toward a concept piece in order to qualify for another WCA show, this one called “Add Women and Stir”. I searched among all my available artworks for something to shoehorn into that theme–that is how I usually match painting to show–but nothing even remotely qualified. So I researched the phrase ( meaning, I “googled” it), free-associated words, tried out some ideas, and finally came up with a concept that I like. It’s the kind of concept that, if it does not make it into this show, will just sit around gathering dust for the next hundred years. Actually, that will happen even if it does make it into the show. But nevertheless, I firmly believe it is NOT A WASTE OF TIME.
Why not? Because it forces me to stretch, probably beyond my ability; because it exercises my imagination; and because it gives me a goal to work toward in this summer where for one reason or another I am not painting much outside. So what if the result of all this imagining and stretching is amateurish! Let’s regard it as a preparatory study. Some parts of it are OK–the parts where I had something real to look at:
My old satin and velvet jewelry box, which I have owned since I was a teenager, looks an awful lot like that.
The parts that I had to conceive of in my imagination? Not so good. Even with all my practicing with TV heads, I cannot paint a believable head out of pure imagination. Today, therefore, I searched the web for models to inform my ultimate vision. I have latched onto an image of Queen Elizabeth that I look forward to trying out. Already, though, I have learned a lot by doing what I only knew in theory before. I now understand why somebody as accomplished as John Singer Sargent was making sketches of the murals in the Boston Public Library, trying out different positions of the figures, different gestures of the fingers on the reins, before he attempted to paint on the walls. So should I feel like an idiot for failing to produce a masterpiece at this point in my endeavor? No, but I should feel like an idiot for thinking I could just pop out a decent representation of my concept in one weekend’s time.
Meanwhile, I have been saving up some nudes to share with you. Now seems like a good time to do that.
“Study in Brown, etc.” goes back to before our Tuesday sessions got to be so popular that we could not afford to hide the back of the model in either this arm chair or the brown leather recliner that I got so good at painting.
Feeling a little desperate for something different in a pose, we came up with “Palm Study”. This model’s posture is always so perfect that just to get her to look down was something.
Last is the best since “In the Artist’s Studio”:
Same model, same studio, same pillow–different pose, different background. Hence the title. I hope you enjoy it!
Aline Lotter is currently exhibiting:
at the Hatfield Gallery in Manchester; at the Bartlett Inn in Bartlett; at the Epsom Public Library in Epsom; at the Bedford Public Library, in Bedford; and at her studio by appointment.
It’s ALL a learning journey – rarely a waste of time! NEVER a waste of time if knowledge or insight was gained.
Yeah, but what if the newly gained insight is “Boy, do I suck!” ? Is humility that much of a good thing? Am I not just rationalizing here so as to justify a journey into perpetual mediocrity? The answer to that must be, as long as you’re still getting those occasional jolts of triumph, the journey is worth making for you, and to hell with the naysayers.
I knew a man who invented things, made companies to make them, made millions, sold millions, and along the way hired dozens of people, all so he would have some money to go drag racing. And buy Häagen Dazs.
I love your painting, but wonder, “Are you doing this for the writing?”
It is not a Waste of Time.
How could you even think I’m doing this for the writing! And as far as Haagen Dazs (I will not search around my keyboard for an umlaut!) is concerned, I paint for Blue Bonnet now. You can find it in Florida but it originates in Texas. Good things do come out of Texas occasionally–“Friday Night Lights” (TV series) and Blue Bonnet ice cream.
This post makes interesting reading. 2012 sounds like one we had here called The Games I think. Full of painful bureacratic slip-ups re the preparations. too real almost! As far as stretching the imagination and pushing the boundaries, it was on my mind last night too. Time I did more of that. That’s as far as it got…so far. Keep it up Aline!