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"For the last 20 year period I've been working with ideas conceived as a child." -Red Grooms

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Joel F Ellis Back to the Studio

     The big summer events of late summer and early autumn have been covered with the usual angst. The biggest jobs, Art Prize and the featured-artist show in the lower wing at a large physician’s building consumed a good deal of organizing time. The Physician’s Building show, through October, has twenty-five paintings in a grouping titled, “Blue Skies Smiling” (because I smile every time a clean canvas begins). These big projects took most of the creative energy, while the real fun part of this trip, painting, has been set aside.
       So the tension and guilt to paint builds. My usual starters seemed to fizzle out, building more tension. The two old friends that help in the painting restart mode were employed, Art and Fear (Bayles and Orland) and Hawthorne on Painting (Charles Hawthorne, 1938, available from Dover). Both books have many passages tagged by sticky notes. I am ready for their soothing guidance. The note markers lead to a quiet confidence drifting over my creative soul and yes the process worked. I did go back to the studio and painted the way that felt right, free and spontaneous.  
       The newsstand magazines encourage artists to blog and blog often, almost like vote and vote often. The articles also encourage showing the latest work. Sounds good and worth considering but for many the process of creating is never quite completed. My studio work space has quite a few paintings I know could use “just a little more something”. So when do I call a painting completed? For some, including me, this is one of the most difficult moments in the painting process - when to put the brushes, tubes of paint, stirring sticks, pine boughs or whatever is being used in playing with the paint, down and say, “finished”.
       With all this prattle about getting started and then stopping I humbly announce the completion of my latest painting . . . well maybe.
Harmony, acrylic on linen, 20x24
       The acrylic on linen canvas was birthed, after much shall we say struggle and the usual wow feeling on its possible completion. So here’s to the latest, I hope, Harmony!!!   
Enjoy, Joel

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