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Doing a Stanley

I think this is what I’m gonna start saying when I recognize a moment where I realize that what is happening on the canvas is pointing a different direction than my intentions. Stanley here is Mr Whitney, one of America’s greatest living painters and a wise man.

So, after iterating on the dilemma of wanting to have a drawing not be forced, I realized that there aren’t painting rules that say you can’t address two things at once. As the trapezoid re-emerged as a line and not a shape, it became clear- again- that a rectangular canvas has much less potential. Below are the sketches I did (just on the old phone) to explore potential canvas shapes.

So then I had to make the shaped canvas, which gave me the opportunity to practice and use some new word working knowledge. All these years and I didn’t even know I was reading my miter saw wrong.

Interesting to see the canvas shape that I delineated with tape (left) didn’t actually have 2 parallel edges- the eye can be fooled, of course (the measurements for the final shape were taken off the taped edges and the angles measured using the digital angle finder pictured above). Need to do a little more taping and do one more pass with a lighter red/pink and I think we’re good.

Something about eggs and chickens…

As I’ve followed where the painting takes me… I’ve made an interesting discovery. The drawing for a piece, when approached as a response to a pre-drawn polygon, might not be the right approach to get the most dynamic composition. I think… sometimes as an artist it’s hard to put a finger on why an image isn’t quite coming together for you, and below definitely was at that point for more than a week. The polygon might be a useful container (as an alternative to a rectangle), that creates more energy within a piece, AND (not BUT) the original impetus for both my first shaped canvas and the prior piece with a painted trapezoid that motivated me to do others was that such a non-rectilinear shape was a reaction to the drawing (rather than, as I started on this one, trying to cram a drawing into a non-rectilinear shape).

In addition to the lesson above, an implied lesson, I think, is that figuring out the relationship of a composition to a polygon/trapezoid container makes sense to figure out before proceeding with more shaped canvases (which I had sort of started on as you can see below).

Also got a few more of the small pieces started- I think the one in the first image might be done.