Sunday, March 13, 2016

Abstract Painting: Where Spirit Meets Bone, Part 2

"Where Spirit Meets Bone", Diptych, 60x40", Mixed Media on Canvas. Available.
The original drawing for this piece came from a video of a couple dancing. They were connected, yet separate... two people that seemed so much a part of each other, I couldn't really imagine them as single entities.

It's funny how certain images and ideas trigger other thoughts. They were young, they moved so gracefully, but what came to mind was my parents. My mom is here, my dad is gone... but they are still so intertwined in my memory that I suspect they will always be like one unit to me. Trying to get this idea across... visually... that was a tough one. I decided to accentuate it through the format. Each canvas is successful on it's own, but they look like they belong together. They look better together. I won't separate them... as far as I'm concerned, this is one piece. But once it's out of my hands, it's out of my control.

The right side alone... still works as an
individual piece, but definitely works better
with it's partner.
Doing the original drawing I took a similar approach. I held one watercolour crayon in each hand, and followed the dancer's movements simultaneously. It was difficult to watch them both at the same time... I set myself up at a distance and tried to concentrate on the motion as a unit, not as individual bodies (If you want to try something that really gets you into the present, try doing that. It's impossible to think about anything but what you are doing...).

As I couldn't do more than glance at my actual drawing while I was working on it, my starting point was somewhat unplanned. Anyone who has followed along for a while knows this is an ongoing trend in the way I work... give myself a problem, then work my way out of it.  I find that while I am a decent problem solver (at least as far as visuals go), staring at a blank canvas with a world of possibilities open to me will cause me to freeze up. There are just too many choices. I love those creative exercises where you just scribble a few lines, then try to make an image out of it. Having that limitation put on myself will spark my creativity. Once I figured that out, it seemed I was away to the races. I'm hopeful that creative blocks are a thing of the past for me. Of course nobody knows what the future holds... but I have some tools at my disposal to help me work my way out of whatever life throws my way.

If you are in the Toronto area, I will be at Arts on the Credit, April 9-10 at the lovely Waterside hotel in Port Credit. It's always a wonderful show, with over 40 artists showing off their latest work. Drop by to check it out, and be sure to say hello.