Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Trickster

Last spring I had an idea for a new challenge for myself. My plan was to paint small, primarily in oil, and to post the paintings on the DailyPaintworks auction at extremely low starting prices to get them out of my studio. I called it my SUPER SUMMER SALE. There were 14 paintings posted over a 6 week period. This project was fun to do and the paintings all have new homes. A side benefit was what I learned about selling through an auction in today's market - I'll share my thoughts on that in a future post.

In mid-summer I created another challenge for myself, once again thinking of it as a way to keep myself entertained in the studio but after reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I now understand that what I am really doing with these frequent challenges is tricking myself. Tricking myself into making art. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook read by the author.

In 2014 I worked in oil on small still life paintings. When I returned to oil this summer I warmed up with the summer sale to then move on to painting larger - but what subject? Maybe interiors? I started off in that direction. Then, the idea came to me that it would be interesting (to me) to see how I would now interpret the same still life scenes I painted 20 years ago.

I selected three images of my old work - two colored pencil and one watercolor. Using Photoshop, I changed the format to square and printed photos to use as reference for three 18x18 inch oil paintings. The new versions of the old paintings are complete now and I will post step by step progression photos of each on this blog.

My next trick will be setting up new still life arrangements and painting even larger. What tricks do you use to get yourself to the easel? If you are old enough, I encourage you to try this challenge with your 20+ year-old work. The way we see the world changes as we age. It is interesting to me to compare the way I expressed my world through art then compared to now.


  1. I got the audio book, and started listening in my car while I commute. Her voice is great, and the contents of the book is so interesting. Thanks for recommending it!

    1. I'm cheered to know you are listening to this Ale. A couple good changes in my attitude/painting lately and this book is definitely one of them.