Saturday, March 29, 2008

Stumbling along, whining.

No one ever misses the chance to tell you you can’t make a living as an artist. OK, so I ignored that. But the thing nobody tells you is how damn hard it is to keep pushing your work, to make sure you don’t just keep circling the same end of the pool, let your ideas go stagnant. There is value in working in a series, to explore the same or similar subjects, to follow a path til it runs out, or you find its end.

And then once in a while you wander off the path. And that’s the hard part. Sometimes really hard. I’ve been trying to figure out where things are going. I get a glimpse, and then I lose sight of it. All the time I spent driving the past few weeks, I was thinking about it. By the time I got home, I was good and frustrated. I may even have been feeling sorry for myself.

So, we plow through Easter weekend, lots of family stuff. Darb sneaks in a visit to the barn, and sees the first foal of the year. Wait til you see him, he’s so cute, she says.

She thinks they're all cute. Like puppies.

So I’m at the studio on Monday, head over to see him. And damn, he is so cute. And his legs are encased in pvc pipe and duct tape. ??? Turns out he came out of the oven a little early. Ten days or so. His cartilage hadn’t hardened. His ears were floppy, and his joints were flimsy. He had to have his legs wrapped to keep them in position, waiting for the cooking to finish. He couldn’t get up or down. He had to be stood up every hour to nurse from his mom. 24 hours a day. Kim or Rene or Bridgette or a few other volunteers had to be there all the time. For ten days. It all started on St. Patrick’s day, so he’s Dublin. He’s doing very well. Splints only on the front legs now. Prognosis is very good.

And I was feeling sorry for myself because I am having trouble with my thinking/conceptualizing/painting? Not so bad, really, by comparison and all. A little wake-up call is good on occasion. I wasn't even around to take an overnight shift.

I am my father’s son. Well, I hope I am anyway- he’s a really good man. But the point here is that I’m a worker, like him. Maybe too much so, on occasion. So if I can’t figure out where I’m at with some of the paintings ideas, but I want/need to work, maybe a change in media.

Printmaking is the production of an image on one surface, then printing it on another - in this case paper. I have used monotypes as a vehicle to explore and push my work before. So I decided to try it again.

I have had an idea for a series of animal images before, and this seems like a good time to get started.

Monotypes. Image size 4 x 4 inches.

1 comment:

David Oleski said...

Hey RC, very exciting new stuff. Interesting how it's so different, but still reads as classic Harrington. It's not easy to avoid sounding like we're whining when we actually voice our thoughts on how we'll get to the next place in our work. I'm scrambling to keep up, maybe I should have my limbs encased in pvc and duct tape as well.