Monday, August 4, 2008

Back, Kinda.

Back from a vacation in British Columbia, which was bitter-sweet.

We spent 10 days in Vancouver and then Vancouver Island (mostly Victoria).

Being a vacation I anticipated for 10 years (long story), you can imagine my expectations were at their peak. And, as happens with high expectations, reality does not always stand up to them. So, we saw some great views, had wonderful food, had some miserable weather, made some wrong choices as for where to go and what to see, got stuck for some hours on the flight back - It was one of those vacations that actually made us happy to go back home. You live, you learn, you blog.

And now we're back. The JohnnyB to his work, and me to my new freedom.

No longer the president of our watercolor society, I am still involved in a more behind-the-scenes sort of way, and helping maintain the website and organize exhibits, but I've pretty much got my life back.

Which allows me to start painting up a storm, right?

Thing is, after months of not really painting seriously, it's not easy to get back to it. There's this fear that I forgot how to paint, and I know the only thing that can put me back on track is just jump into it and start painting, gain some brush mileage, waste some paint, ruin some paper.

I started doing it at the figure drawing class, but the summer session has ended, and the next one begins only in September.

Which is actually a good thing, as I cannot cling to the straw of a class. I have to paint at home, on my own - the best way to advance and do my own thing, find my own voice again.

So, in the past couple of days, I've been bozzettoing my way back up. I'm in a couch potato Blues mood these days, and - loyal to this, I spend a lot of time in front of the TV.

Rather than fight this, I decided to set a tiny "studio" there - a lap desk, brushes, some paint, bunch of papers and water. And, just as I did when I was stressed in time, whenever I see an image that appeals to me, I pause the TV and make a little painting of it.

No commitment to create a masterpiece, no pressure, no fear of the world coming to an end if it's not successful - it's all about getting my muscles back in shape, about learning to see and choose what's important to render and what's best left out, about combining colors and shapes, about where to put lines.

These two images are my first attempts, done with watercolor on smooth Bristol paper. No preliminary drawing - just the brush.

Not sure the brush mileage I gain this way will get me an around-the-world free ticket, but at least I can eventually upgrade to getting back to business.


RHCarpenter said...

Really really like the last one posted, Nava. So much emotion and so much to read into this one. You are wise not to stress over not painting - and get back slowly. You must tell me about Victoria and what to see, etc. (we had a trip planned to Vancouver Island in July and had to cancel when I injured my back!). Glad you're back.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nava, oh such a familiar lament. Some days we just don't have what we wish we did or what we think " others" come by so easily.
You've posted some very moving work here ( I really like the middle study a lot ) and all that matters is that you do it.
Good for you.

I've just switched from acrylic to oil and have to re-learn everything- it's frustrating but I keep doing it because it pulls me.

So be blue ( it worked for Picasso !) until you're in the pink and love every step of the way.
And thanks for the inclusion in your blogroll- very nice!

JohnnyB said...

Interesting how the photos change the paintings - I like #2 more "in person", as it seems more of a story to me there, but in the photos, #3 is more compelling / complete.

Anonymous said...

You know what I like (in addition to your paintings) is the way you write. The problem solving. Couch potato mood? Bring the art to the TV. And, begin. So wise, so revealing about how you coexist with truth.

Love it.