stepping away from the safe cocoon of being inert, taking the first step onto the tightrope, beginning to draw back the already taut bowstring where my comfort zone was– it can certainly be daunting. frightening, even. i have done this so many times, but the stage fright inherent in really beginning a new piece just makes me crazy. i procrastinate, do anything BUT get down to it, find ways to avoid it– until it gets to be so big in my mind that i have to get off the schneid just to keep from exploding. such was the case this morning.
but enough of that for now– i feel more like talking about some photos, the photos i have been digitising and then photoshopping. a rum bunch at times, with a lot of mediocrity, especially in the early stages of my career (i have been moving through my trove more or less chronologically). it bugged me at first, as i couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the hell i was trying to do most of the time. it finally hit me that my purpose had been, unknowingly, to teach myself all about composition, at least in photos. suddenly it all seemed to be so clear– i was taking a vast amount of photos, but getting very little in the way of usable stuff. add to that the fact i was trying to get the perfect combination of shutter speed and aperture, and you might notice i would take almost a whole roll of celluloid on one frame, done in somewhat different ways. sometimes i was successful, but sometimes i just plain failed. still, slowly but slowly, i learned and the number of frames per idea began to lessen. i began veering away from straight B&W photos, and moving more and more into infrared B&W, as i found the way it portrayed an image fascinating. basically it reads the reflected heat inherent in any scene, rather than the light– thusly a clear sky shows as a hard blue black, as it reflects no light, whereas clouds become quite magical.
which, of course, made it even more of a bummer when kodak decided to discontinue making this great film. there are infrared films from other companies, but none of them bring to the table quite what this one did.
thank goodness for “save draft” and taking a little extra time– this morning i began by expurgating a little diatribe on the faults of my negative reader, the one that has since crapped out and left me looking for a new one. it was trite and boring– at least, that’s what i thought when i re-read the sucker a half hour ago.
and so, back to the painting– yes, i took a long time to get to work on it. i had distractions, like a month of diving and other stuff, but fear was the deciding factor. “i still have about a week’s sketching to do on it” was my well-worn excuse, but i suddenly realised i had done the sketching and was merely on tiptoe, trying to sneak around my feelings. what i am showing here is the first layer of complementary color– the underpainting, as i have done many a time before. not much of these colors will remain when all is said and done. also,stategy is involved– this time i plan on painting pretty much the whole sky as a single thing, and then applying the leaves and blossoms of the flamboyan tree on top of it– likewise some of the walls to the right
a little further on here. most of this piece will be shades of green and blue, with some reds. where there is blue the complement is orange, and with green it is red. the sky has three different complementary colors, something new for me as well. kinda looks hideous at the moment, no? one of many ugly phases these paintings goes through. however, one thing is sure–i have gotten it underway now, and have no idea where exactly it will end. it is enough that, for now, i have begun.