Little synaptic sparks of memory

I've had quite a surge of inspiration/impetus to paint lately, but of course, the nature of such things is that they ebb and flow, wax and wane. And now it has waned a bit (in part because I have new painting ideas, but must gesso more muslin to get started... puts the brakes on a bit).

Tonight, to fill the void of inspiration, and the time between coats of gesso, I've gone back to working on the second Hemlock Semiconductor commissioned painting. I feel like it's going in a really nice direction, one that I didn't have much trouble picking back up on even though it's been a little bit since I've touched it. Plus, I have to say I welcome the technical challenge of this one in particular. The transparency, slight waxiness, and internal structure of the quartz still has me baffled -- I'm currently just glazing layers of semi-transparent color and hoping that something strikes me. And the polysilicon ingots, though much more of a predictable geometric and solid shape, still make me think hard due to their changing angles and the sheen of their surface. I've always had a hard time with surfaces and sheens in paintings; all of my textures come out the same. But I'll be very surprised if I haven't improved that particular skill by the time this one's finished.

Blocking in the silhouettes of the furthest-back ingots, I got a memory flash of Charles Demuth's "My Egypt," which I once wrote a paper on for Art History class. Something about the current flatness and linearity of the ingots, and their shape, similar to grain silos, and the general verticality, I suppose. Clearly not very similar paintings, but the connection made me smile.

Charles Demuth: "My Egypt," 1927, oil on composition board, 35 3/4 x 30 inches

From Endings Come New Beginnings

I finally finished my commissioned painting. After months of hemming, hawing, loving, hating, holding on too tight, procrastinating out of fear of messing it all up, and taking leaps -- and despite predictions to the contrary -- it's done.

And I made a video so you can see it come together!

But now there's the trepidation (and excitement, of course) of a new blank canvas.

January Goals

December wasn't such a great month for getting things done...

  • Finish HSC painting! Still not quite done. But close.

  • Continue not wasting my life away in front of the computer. Good so far.

  • There are a couple of local galleries whose submission period is during January, so I need to get my packet ready to go. I always 'mean' to submit, but let my procrastination/fear/anxiety get the best of me. Not this year. (Oh please, oh please.) Didn't do it, but I'm going to, I promise.

  • I have a stack of artist registry forms. Once I've got packets together for galleries, it's not much more work to submit to some artist registries. My official goal will be getting 6 of the 8 I've printed out actually sent. Didn't do that either. May or may not do it.

  • I promised some people prints of my work forever ago and never followed through. Get those ordered/sent so they'll get them in time for Christmas. Did it. So at least I feel like less of a jerk.

  • I'm going to be teaching a class (through Paper Zone) on screenprinting wedding invitations in January after the Portland Bridal Show, so I need to fully outline the class syllabus and handouts. I can finish them in early January, but the hard work will need to be done before the last minute. Did it somewhat. Still needs finishing, but very do-able.

  • Photograph Valentine cards. Prepare publicity email(s). Nope. Gets moved to January.

  • Create mural proposal or OSU Engineering department. (Not sure this is going to happen; it will definitely have to take a backseat to the HSC painting.) Didn't happen. I'm ok with that.

Most of this month's goals are unfinished things from last month.
  • Submit to galleries that have January submission dates.

  • Send image of HSC painting to client. Discuss money, shipping, timelines, etc.

  • Photograph valentines and get them out into the digital world.

  • Make confirmations for Bridal Screenprinting class and finish syllabus/materials list.

  • Get laptop repaired.

  • Give my truck some love. An oil change, maybe a new turn signal light.

  • Finish sewing projects for other people that I've had sitting around for way longer than is reasonable. Apologize for keeping them so long.

Monthly Goals: November

Here goes an attempt at sticking with it and staying focused, prompted by the Monthly Goal Meetup on the Modish Biz Tips blog.
  • Print winter holiday cards. Photograph them. Get them listed on Etsy. Send out email announcing their existence (by November 10th!).

  • Finish up shipments to Bluebottle, Wholly Craft, etc. and get them out the door by the 15th.

  • Finish printing 2010 Valentines cards and photograph them. If they don't make it into my shipments, that's okay, although it would be awesome if they did.

  • Blog at least once a week (not counting monthly goals post).

  • Spend more quality time, less time total, on the computer/internet.

  • Figure out what I'm doing with painting versus paper goods. Launching a separate wedding invitation shop/webpage/company? Integrating it more into my overall studio umbrella and focusing more on painting as my 'main' thing?

  • Finish HSC commissioned painting.

  • List recent drawings and works on paper on Etsy.

Well, it's pretty clear that I'm the type to start many things and never finish them. Nothing on that list involves starting anything, except maybe the first one, which will begin tomorrow.

Gotta start somewhere...

Mmmm... new. I don't regularly get to use Pthalo blue at all, much less as the base of a painting. But this painting isn't quite my regular thing, exactly.

In other news: after another cleaning session with A acting as facilitator and motivator, the studio is still not clean. The never-ending battle. Losing battle in his view, but I think it's actually much improved. Suffice it to say we have different standards.