Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Need Different Directions

Orange House with Hedge, 2009, Oil on Birch Panel, 6x12

So in the last six years or so, I have done over a thousand paintings (that does NOT include the clunkers, and there were more than a few of those!). My technique is to work fast so actually painting that many isn't such a big deal to me, the big deal is coming up with that many images. I often paint the same subject matter, to make another interpretation of it or to explore it further but yes, also because it is a constant struggle to find new imagery that I respond to enough to want to paint it. And when I look back at the progression of paintings I can see my growth as a painter, all the shifts and changes in palette. I am proud of what I have accomplished in these last several years.

But holy cow, am I ever burned out on this subject matter!!! Once I get started on a painting and get into it, it's fine but lately I have been struggling with the getting started part. I am just not as enthusiastic about the landscapes and barns as I once was and even though I can still do work that I am proud of, I don't like not having the same enthusiasm. Kinda sucks all the fun out the whole painting thing, ya know? I know that I have a few more landscapes, barns and other structures in me, and I will keep painting them, but not to the extent that I have been for the last six years.

As most of you know, I have been fooling around a bit with portraits and while those ARE really exciting to me, they also completely slay me too! They are intense and I can't paint them at the pace that I prefer to paint and plus, up until recently, I have had no venue for them. So whenever I have something else going on, they immediately get put on hold. However, my two galleries have expressed an interest in trying them out and so next month (after the kids are in school and I get my days back;)) I will get to work on them again.
Aunt Bettie Looks Like Margaret Thatcher

However, in the last few months, in between summer activities and shuttling the kids around etc, I have been working on a series of paintings that I am really excited about. Work that is inspired by the landscape but is much more abstract. Again, both of my galleries have expressed an interest in trying them out, and in early September, I will be visiting both to show the work in person.
Still Untitled!, 2009 Oil on Birch Panel, 6x12

Well, this this post has gotten a bit long, and since I have to take one of my daughters shopping at the mall today, I think I will save the rest of the story and images of the new work for next time. And yes, I am purposely not saying that will be tomorrow because clearly I am not able to post on consecutive days anymore. Bleh!


Denise R said...

Well, if it is any encouragement to you, I am recently playing with barns and old churches in my paintings because of being inspired by your work (and a few others out there). So, even though you are feeling the need to move on in subject matter, you have inspired others to take on this subject matter! In my opinion, no matter what you paint, you must be excited about it or you won't continue doing it well. I believe you must be satisfied or it will show in your work that you are not. Have a great day and I so look forward to seeing what you have in store for us! (not tomorrow....but whenever!)

Robyn said...

I've loved your 'people' from the beginning, Tracy and I have a feeling in my water that somewhere in the future people will be kicking themselves that they didn't walk over broken glass to buy them in the beginning.

That said - this latest abstract is stunning and your followers are going to latch on to this period from the beginning. I've probably exhausted my wisdom now for the rest of the year ;)

self taught artist said...

while you know i love your people pictures, after reading how it isn't a swift process for you...and seeing your new work..i say hot damn, i'm loving it and am excited!

Anonymous said...

Tracy, I am so excited to see that you might just start doing non-representational or not, abstracts!!

I am mad about you colour choices and feel those applied in an abstract fashion can only be absolutely mouth-watering.

Your approach has always - to me - had a minimalist look and that's what has always attracted me along with YOUR colour.

It is so funny, when i started reading this post it was blasting in my head that abstract would be the way to go for now.

Come on Tracy cheer up and paint more like that last piece posted here - which I LOVE.

I check daily - no pressure. :)

Sherrill, Montreal

Angela Wales Rockett said...

Wow! Very cool.

I'm actually feeling a pull to include more representative images in my work. Change is in the air I guess.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracy (it's so fun to talk to someone w/ the same name!),

I think the growth is natural in the progression of an artist, isn't it? I like doing series too, but you have spent WAY more time working a subject than I. (I start to fizzle at #4 or 5.)

I say "Good for you" for exploring a subject in-depth. But I'm of the belief that most artists, like sharks, have to keep moving or die.

Keep on keeping on!

Claire said...

I really love that abstact landscape and I can't wait to see more :-)

Tracy said...

Denise, wonderful to hear that I have been any kind of inspiration at all, thank you! Actually, to be very honest I have always been slightly puzzled as to why my landscapes seem to show my love for them. I do love where I live and that has inspired me but also, i am not exactly an outdoor girl and have always more of an affinity towards other subject, most of which I seem to be unable to paint successfully anymore;) Go figure!!

Thanks Robyn, Regarding the portraits, I hope so, but so far all I have heard from potential galleries is that they like them, but can't sell them. blech. And thanks for the compliment on the abstract, I would like to add that it is even better irl ;)

Thanks Paula, yes the road to portraits has been fraught with more than a few breakdowns ;) They tell me it's a good thing and I guess it is, but I have to guard my mental health too, so taking a break from them is often a good thing.

Thanks Sherrill, I actually wanted to focus on my color too and that is one of the reasons that I knew abstract was the way to go. Will discuss this more next time, prolly NOT tomorrow ;)

Angela, sounds like a worthy flip flop for both of us;)

Tracy, do you get called Stacy all the time too? Anyway, because of the fact the landscapes have sold pretty well for me, I think I may have gone a little bit longer with these than I might have otherwise. Again, will address that topic too, in a future post.

Thanks Claire! Will be putting more up soon!

Jeliza said...

I am looking forward to seeing the abstracts -- it seems like such a natural direction for your work, especially since they have often felt to me as much about color as form.

(I'd also love to see your version of a cityscape, but it doesn't sound like that would be particularly fun or interesting for you. :)

Tracy said...

Jeliza, actually I did several cityscapes a few years ago, you can see them here, here and here. I enjoyed doing them and have always meant to get back to them, but.....

pattynubs said...

I really like the Orange House painting because of the large scale of the house and showing a portion of the house rather than the entire house. I would like to see more of this concept. I also like the abstract piece very much. Keep it up and I will have to buy a piece.

Jeffrey said...

great new work. look outside the box...or barn, on occasion

Natalya said...

i looove the new abstract! looks really exciting, congratulations! and of course the people i know series is one that i'd like to get to know better too... ;-)

bridgette said...

tracy- I am loving the abstracts! this one really struck me. I can't wait to see more!

veena said...

Hi Tracy fantastic job its easy to just go through with photos of painting but these painting shows your hard work. I appreciate your work Keep it up.Can't wait to see more from you thanks :)