Thursday, April 26, 2018 5:22 pm

Done for the day, weary, wishing I could come up with the stamina to continue. Not gonna happen.

I almost don’t want to go home yet, though. It takes such an effort to steal this time for myself and I feel greedy, unwilling to drive back to my life as wife, helpmate, taskmaster, confident, mom. I’m not ready to give up my focus, to return to the regular world. Not a soul in my life would understand this. So I sigh, resigned.

As I work, listening to music from the 90’s in particular, I’m reminded of the choices and the direction of my career, my life. The anger is still there, potent. In my studio I feel free, unrestrained, a genius in full control. It’s a fantasy, and yet, I indulge in it. The exhaustion is perhaps a gift now that I think about it. I will walk out of here alive.

The works in progress are filling in, taking form. I continue to work in layers of thinned down acrylic paint, the figures gaining dimensionality, becoming like adolescents: obnoxious, disinterested in what I might have had planned for them, going their own way. This is always a dangerous stage of creation for me. It’s the point where judgement starts to be stronger than open acceptance. I grow impatient, fearful. What ARE these pieces about? How do I keep the momentum up? How do I maintain the fearless space in which they all were birthed?

My experiment with the trowel did not work. The heavy gel medium is either too old or too solid to smoothly adhere to stretched canvas. So I returned angrily to using the plastic spatula to apply and even out the surface. On one vertical canvas I used the nappy roller to create a rough surface. Not exactly sure how the rough piece can be used going forward. Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. I suppose there’s an opportunity to use collage here. Might be a good direction.

Next time I’m in the studio, I’d like to further define the figures, utilize line, more scrumbling, perhaps take out the burnt umber, the VanDyke brown. Do I want the works to be light, airy, ethereal? Do I want them to be bold? If so, how aggressive am I feeling? Do I want to add texture with paper or medium or do I want to rely on the simple application of paint? I harken back to the works of 2015, using the gridded papers. That worked. But I really hate to repeat myself.

Reminder: SLOW down. Sit, look at the work and let it tell me what it wants. Okay.

My mood today? Mixed. I think the failed trowel experiment bothers me more than it ought to. So I’ll let it go. At least I didn’t abuse more than maybe one canvas. The others remain healthy, full of promise and mystery and enough challenge. Artist, do not lose hope.