A good friend with a body of artwork I really admire gave me some great advice and I'm taking it.
I know. Me, taking somebody's advice. Strange times.
Whatever skills I have as a painter are wasted with my crazy love of everything. What I needed was a theme in order to develop my voice, to explore different styles while staying within the confines of the theme. It doesn't hurt either to have pieces that make sense viewed together. I mean horses and toothpaste are fine, but it's kind of embarrassing trying to explain away the lack of focus there. It was pretty obvious that I was just randomly choosing images that caught my eye or copying other artists.
I'm into the second week of the experiment and I'm still pretty excited about it. Every painting is either a road or a view from the car as I drove on a road. And in a nice parallel I feel like I'm traveling down a new road myself. Trying to build up something unique from a blah image, trying to develop a visual voice of my own instead of copying the styles of others. I'm getting there. Lots of experiment, tons of fun. Focus is good.
The first week's paintings had a tentative quiet look. This week's work is bolder with higher contrast looser strokes, even some palette knife work. As always my favorite painting is the last one I did. Keep an eye on the shop, they'll be up as soon as they dry. The heat is helping with that and I have a fan blowing on them as well. I still need to work on photo quality though. The paintings that are on Etsy look washed out.
Now, of course I had to make some exceptions for my crazy. I'm not painting anything that isn't a road, but I am experimenting with different printmaking methods, graphic design, and illustration to put on the silly wood blocks I'm making. It feels really good to be divided. My funny quirky goes here, my series effort goes here. There. Everything in its place.
I'm still struggling to find the same focus in my writing. The novel. Everything should be going into it, my funny, serious, weird. But that book would be too long. I'm going to work on revising two chapters each week.
In revising it's harder to set deadlines and goals. I don't have a word count to push for. I just have to keep plugging away and push through the fear of getting lost. So my new commitment on that front is to print out the chapters and the beginning of the week and mark it up, take notes, do free writes all on those chapters. It shouldn't be just a tinkering with what's already on the page. I need to re -vision what's there.