When to stop painting…

DSCF9492Two studies – acrylic paint, 2016

I started this pair of paintings side by side, with the intention of mirroring, a sort of butterfly effect. I ended up spending much more time on the left-hand painting… to its detriment.

I much prefer the more minimalist left hand painting, which took only a few minutes, simple brush strokes, beautiful colours – the paint moved across the paper, bled, arranged itself serendipitously and left a lovely splodge.

How can a couple of minutes work look so much better than half an hour of laboured painting?! And will everyone else see the same as me?

That has always been The Big Question – when to stop painting? When have you over-worked an ruined a once delicate, understated, confident piece of work? How on earth do you know when to stop? I guess it all comes down to intuition. And experience. Practice (and plenty of frustrating mistakes, screwed up sketchbook pages. There’s no going back.)

Stop before you think you need to stop.

 

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Cadmium II – Recent Work

Cadmium II - E Tann

Cadmium II (2016)

Acrylic

Very much an experimental piece. Horizontal brush strokes, cross-based composition (I’ve been playing around this for a while), and of course beautiful white blank paper and the usual muted palette. The painting exists on the surface of the paper, the paper is part of the work, not simply a material for the paint to rest on, an after thought; the painting isn’t the object. There is a difference. I’m not certain that makes sense – must work on my articulation. Maybe another day.

 

Phthalo II – Recent Work

Phthalo II - E Tann

Phthalo II (2016)

Acrylic

… a tiny smidge of green found it’s way into this one, which is most unusual. Slightly murky, smokey little painting.

 

 

Specimens – Current Work

Specimens I (2016).JPG

Specimens I, 2016

Experimental acrylic paintings (12 x A5), using a limited palette of cadmium red and phthalo blue.

I loved making these little glowing, ephemeral paintings – they’re currently stuck to my kitchen wall and make me very happy every time I see them. A fairly rare occurrence – coming back to look at recent work is always a little daunting. How often paintings seem lacklustre and disappointing “the morning after”…. not this time. To be continued.

Little Paintings – Work in Progress

WIP April 2016

I’ve been having a think about making a series of paintings, on a smaller scale, with a limited palette of blue and red, working quickly and loosely. I rather like the outcome, and the process suits me perfectly. Sections of colour; paint that looks like paint, muted, bleeding puddles with lots of blank space. Pondering how beautiful a lot of little paintings could look on a white gallery wall… a small nail in each piece of paper, perhaps? More work of this ilk to follow…

 

 

Phthalo I

Phthalo I - E Tann

Phthalo I, 2015

acrylic paint

I’ve gone back to basics, and have been exploring colour and tone; the innate substance and movement of paint. No concept, pure experimentation, and the pile of paintings my by easel makes me think it’s been a prolific few months. Painting because it feels good – no concept, just beautiful colours.

 

Meditation

Watercolour works in progress…

She is someone else and you don’t know her.

For an unemployed person, I am one ridiculously busy lady.

I have completed my CAB training, and so this week I was let loose on the public, attempting to help them sort out their problems…. So far, so good. Starting Monday, I am spending two weeks volunteering as a teaching assistant at a primary school… which is a rather daunting prospect. Arg. Terror. AND I’m attempting to organise an art exhibition at the little gallery I volunteer for! Oh my. Unemployment is definitely not boring these days…

And, when I get a moment, there is art! And yoga. SO MUCH YOGA. I love yoga. I have gotten so damn bendy.

Lately I’ve been spending time looking into the more meditative, emotional, calming, thinking side of yoga. Which turns out to be fascinating and ever so thought provoking. A hell of a lot of my art has been about feelings and emotions and thinking (or not thinking) and what’s real (or not real.) I’ve spent a lot of time and energy attempting to fight negative memories and emotions…. With yoga, you just let it be. You accept that you are not in control. Things come and go. You recognise emotions are there but you don’t fight anything. Oh it’s all so… liberating! And peaceful. But I’ll stop there before I go all obsessive-preachy-hippy on you. Uh oh.

(Go look at this lovely lady’s website if you do happen to want to read more about it all…http://www.ekhartyoga.com/blog/yoga-and-emotional-pain)

absent minded biro doodles

Absent minded scrap paper biro doodles…

 

 

I Want To Do Everything

I want to do everything. However fleeting an idea, I sometimes end up being convinced that it is the big epiphany I’ve been waiting for that’s going to make it all make sense. And that makes me ridiculously non-coherent as an artist.

paintingsinprogress (800x594)

I’ve been painting with acrylics all morning, which is something I ain’t done in years. Abstract calm red blue purple floaty misty glowy. Really been enjoying it, and, although they’re not finished yet, I think that they will look good. And god forbid, perhaps the kind of thing that could be commercial, the sort of thing that people may want on their walls?!

Ah, but the painting will be a phase. Last week I decided that crochet was the way forwards. Any suggestions how to deal with this conundrum? Should I really just try and focus my efforts on one area? Or go with my instincts and my heart and flit between everything……. I think I know what I’ll do. Surely everything will just fall into place eventually!

In other news, I baked a loaf of bread this morning. Quite possibly The Best Loaf I have ever made!  And, somewhat more exciting- it’s my birthday at the weekend, and we’re going to Aberystwyth! I haven’t been there since graduation in 2011, so am looking forwards to it muchly.

I think there are too many exclamation marks in this post. I hate it when people use too many exclamation marks. Here’s my beautiful bread:

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