But I LIKE Losing Control

When I think about what really makes me happy, being productive is way up on my list of top five.  Productive as in being able to look with some degree of satisfaction at what I’ve accomplished at the end of every day.

As I’ve been undergoing the ENORMOUS shift to working in the abstract, there have been many, many days when I’ve just had to suspend my need for that daily artistic accomplishment fix and be satisfied focusing on the positive;  the work IS getting better, and I’m finally learning that even though what I see on the canvas might not be what I had in mind to do, it is still often beautiful.  And worth keeping.  Not as easy as it sounds for someone whose techniques meant things were never out of control.

Part of my current process involves working flat, using very liquid pigments.  So often as I lovingly watch their magical mingle and flow, I’ll see something like I was hoping for… that’s it! Okay! Okay, stay right there! Okay, stop flowing!  Riiiight.

Today for example, this area, which is very cool and had the textures and blends (and spots! see 9-20-14 post) I had loosely in mind…

MARCI MCDONALD | painting in progress detail

… became this, which is also beautiful, but much softer than I had in mind.

MARCI MCDONALD | painting in progress detail 2

The important thing is I didn’t just wash it away or paint over it like I’ve kept doing and kept doing for months… I went on from where IT wanted to end up.  Which might not seem like much, but for me has been a difficult place to get to.

I’ve also learned to use a less wet surface and less paint.  Loving thick, glossy pools of luscious colors, I want to just keep pouring it on!  Problems with that kind of way overdoing it have been crazing – a network of cracks that form as the paint dries (even with the use of several additives designed to address that) and/or the loss of wonderful blends and textures as that much paint continues to flow. By using less paint I’ve found I have a little better idea of where things might end up when dry, cutting down on my frustration (and unproductive time spent) a LOT.  And restraining the impulse to keep pouring only cuts down on the fun a little… 

 

 

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