Saturday, February 18, 2012

Late Winter Slump

Heron painted in my classroom as an
ongoing demo on watercolor painting

Sometimes as an artist things slump.  Ideas seem stale or forced and no matter what gets tried it doesn't seem to work out well.  I feel like I have been in one of those slumps for a few weeks now.
Usually, my sketchbook has been the perfect place to stay active and drawing and at least doing something to move through the slow time in my art and for whatever reason this winter that has even been slow.
As an art teacher however, I am always making work in my classroom.  It is never fabulous and is often never finished but sometimes a demonstration manages to work out and the result is at least moderately pleasing.  It is my demonstration work that is getting finished right now.  It is getting finished because I know I am in a slump and feel as if I need to create work, even if that work is done while I explain things to my students and even if it doesn't feel fabulous at least I am creating work.  The heron painting in this post is one such example.  It began as a multi-part demonstration on page use and sketching subject matter, then laying in background and painting your subject by layering light washes of paint.  I then spent some time over a couple of days working while my students worked on their own paintings to finish.
There are places in the painting I like (feathers) and some areas I think could be better (beak & background washes)  but it feels reasonably complete and if nothing else finishing this gets me moving forward rather than pouting and stewing about nothing really singing in my studio right now.

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