New Year's resolutions, solutions and confusions.

Firstly, do resolutions work? I really don't know if they do for me but I guess this is just an excuse to look more closely at something I'm doing to see if I can do it any better. And yes, I think there is definitely a lot of room for improvement.
My main stumbling blocks are: getting work finished, being too critical of what I'm doing, being disorganised, making use of limited time, and the painting techniques I use. There are probably more categories but I would be here forever.

Getting work finished is a common problem. There are quite a few works that I embarked on this year that I haven't managed to complete and they just hang around irritating me. I'm too critical of what I'm doing a lot of the time...this probably comes from looking at too much high quality art and reading too much theory. One becomes too knowing; not naive enough to just go ahead when I know it's not quite right. Also, I'm restrictive in what I allow myself to put down on the surface. This has its pros and cons. I limit myself with colour, figuration, gestural mark-making and a host of other elements which many other artists use and whose work I don't admire as a result...but maybe I'm being too uptight. I could relax this a little.

I could be more organised and focused, plus I don't make best use of my limited free time. Years of tidying the flat and such empty tasks that many women get caught up in, make it difficult to focus on tasks which require being still and focused; even writing this piece requires being still for longer than I find comfortable. I have to make myself do it as it doesn't come naturally.

When I paint on paper I like gouache. Oil is used for my larger work but it is a slow drying paint and one constantly has to stop whilst the paint dries, especially when doing precise work like the piece pictured below. However, every time I stop I break the flow of interest I have in the piece.

This work is on aluminium and is an exercise in precision. I'm trying to get smooth lines, even colour and transparency in the overlaying of the colours. I'm still working on this and I think it is worth continuing but I caused my own problem by making the white disc look like a planet when I didn't really want to do that...this will have to be rectified to make it more ambiguous. I want the objects to be free of representation as much as possible, I want them to speak for themselves.

I need to keep referring to my ideas/sketch book as I often neglect working on many of the ideas I have collated in there. This would help with a more linear development of projects.

So here's what I think I can do to improve my lot as an artist:

  • Make a concerted effort to finish work by being more organised.
  • Be less restrictive but with awareness.
  • Mix slow and quick together. When oil is drying make digital collage or cut and paste collage, which is much quicker. Use quick drying acrylics more often even though I don't like them as much as oil. 
  • Practice focusing for longer periods.
  • Utilise sketch book more effectively.

Will I do these things? I'll try and if a first I don't succeed I'll try, try again.

Happy New Year everyone!

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