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I’ve been busy

I seem to go in spurts. It’s been almost a month since I last posted but it’s not like I haven’t done anything. Actually, I’ve been busy.

From an artist friend (who also happens to be a cousin), I accepted a 10-day challenge on facebook: post one image a day for 10 days, starting with the oldest and ending with the most recent. You would think that since I didn’t have to paint anything new for the challenge, it would be easy to do. But you would be wrong. Rather than just bragging about my best work, I decided to use the occasion to review my progress over the last 20+ years, and my conclusion: not bad. Starting with my very early watercolors, I gradually learned composition and technique. A little over 5 years ago I moved to acrylic and had to start all over with technique and learning the materials. Two major take-aways: my paintings kept getting better (although not always in a straight line); and no matter how happy I was with a painting, I would later always see some way in which it could be improved. So the 10-day challenge was both encouraging and sobering.

And I’ve done 7 paintings in the last month, most of them small sketches often on canvasboard, some in preparation for larger work later. During the Pandemic, I’ve mostly been painting on gessoed canvas or canvasboard (it’s what I had available), so my paintings have been experiments.

Lately, I’ve been focused on sunsets. They are beautiful and it’s what I see outside my window every night. Living in a high-rise apartment overlooking the Hudson River and the Palisades offers constant inspiration.

Just a few examples …

Palisades Sunset 6×6 Acrylic on canvasboard

Sunset Tree 5×7 Acrylic on paper

Sara’s Sunset 6×6 Acrylic on canvasboard

The process of creating the 10-day challenge has influenced how I look at my work. I’ve always been critical, but now I look for progress in a more specific, intensive way. The next time I paint this subject but larger, what do I have to change and how. Will I paint it on the same kind of surface or will I do something different, like going back to painting on raw canvas? Each painting has it’s own requirements and I’m still learning.

Posted by ruthhurd on May 24, 2021

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