I don't like to talk too much about the directions I'd like to take as far as my work goes. I firmly believe in jinxes and I have noticed that whenever I discuss what I will be doing, it all fails miserably. Thinking about it too much and trying to envision what the work will look like has the same effect. But I need to do a little bit of planning here, and I have decided to risk a big fat jinx by publicly stating what my focus will be while I am on this residency.
When I began painting again after years of being a stay at home mom, I just sort of fell into painting the landscape. It wasn't anything I had done before and I certainly have been exploring that genre for the last four years! I feel like I have really developed my painting skills and so now I'd like to explore some different imagery. Back in college I was quite proficient at drawing and painting almost anything (EXCEPT the landscape) which is a byproduct of being an illustration major. We did a lot of drawing and had to cover a wide variety of subject matter.
Anyway, the figure was always a favorite subject for me and I had a pretty good eye for it, I think. I was good at likenesses, but I was still working on developing my painting skill in college and I never did get those two things to work together very well. Now I have the painting thing down pretty well and since I still love my painting process, it is still challenging and fulfilling to me, I don't intend on mixing that up during this time (someday I will, but perhaps that will be a more gradual process) and so I will focus on developing different imagery. Since there will be three hours of figure drawing sessions each weekday during my residency, I plan to take full advantage of working on the figure.
So this is my plan: First of all, I am going to toss off a barn or landscape or two just to warm up and get comfy in a new studio. After that I am planning to do a lot of drawing at first during the figure sessions, then will move on to doing some underpaintings directly from the model. In between all of that I am going to try and incorporate the drawn images into paintings along with some kind of background. In addition, I have about a million vintage photographs which I am going to take along. I have used those as reference before; I've taken figures from those and have put them into different backgrounds, with varying degrees of success. That was a direction I have always wanted pursue but didn't have the time and am hoping to do that now.
Now, having stated my plans, I have to add that I don't necessarily think I will follow through with them. I just need some parameters to start with. The thought of being able to do whatever I want while I am there is too overwhelming for me and I will flounder and probably accomplish nothing. I need a goal, a focus, along with the ability to be flexible and change directions later on.
So it's anybody's guess, including mine, on what kind of work I will be bringing home at the end of February!