Break’s over, baby

Okay, okay.  I admit it.  I’ve been enjoying my two weeks off.  Amid economic uncertainty and under much personal angst, I took my leave from my employer of four years.  The time was right, ripe… perhaps overripe, with a distinct air of moldy about it.  Meh.  Had a couple of interviews, put out a resume or two, and kind of lazed around the house for the past two weeks.

Good news on a few fronts.  I have kept my record of being offered every job I’ve applied for (two at the moment) AND it’s given me a chance to get back into the studio and actually do some art.  Big shows are coming up- AAEA in particular- and that is hot on the heels of Muse I being accepted to the HITS Art on the Hudson extravaganza up in New York.  It’s a big deal.  The painting will be gallery hopping for a few months and then will be sold (hopefully) the same weekend as the new million dollar Grand Prix.  Lots of exposure, lots of horse people, and hopefully lots of fun… if I get to go, and I hope to.

Back to the art.  People who know me know that my studio is full of half finished pieces, and my head is full of even more that haven’t made it on to paper or canvas yet.  I work on something, put it away, bring it back out, work on it some more, and then decide if it’s worth continuing or if it literally and figuratively belongs on the scrap pile.  Some paintings don’t work out.  They just don’t.  And some of them come together brilliantly after a few months or even years.  And don’t ask me how or why- I have no idea.  One day I dig the thing out, look at it and think, “Ah!  It wants…. purple! right there.”  And, voila! done painting.

One of the nice things about commissions is that they usually have a set deadline- they HAVE to get done by X day or I don’t get paid and lose a customer.  Same thing with shows.  I tend to work to a show deadline, sometimes with several pieces at once, all vying for a spot on the entry form.  Rarely these days do I do a piece just for fun. But that’s what I’ve been doing lately.  No real pressure, no master plans, just ideas I’ve been kicking around in my head and want to get on paper.  I’m trying to simplify- my art, my life, my everything.  AE London (an artist who I admire greatly) talks about, “… the magic of deliberate mark making… the line itself can speak volumes.”  And she’s right.  Line, shape, form.  The hardest thing in the world is to do a piece of art simply.  The urge to overwork is overpowering.  I have been accused of being “seduced by media” in the past, and so I’ve been very careful what I’ve been putting on the paper lately.  Yesterday it was conte crayon.  The day before, conte, charcoal and coffee.  The day before that?  Colored pencil.  These may not be show pieces, and they may never be shown publicly or put in a portfolio or turned into prints.  But they have been fun, and I’ve enjoyed the process of creating art, maybe more than I have in years.

All art ©Joanna Zeller Quentin 2010.  All Rights Reserved.