I spent this summer having my own entire season of artistic block. There was little I wanted to paint, or nothing that seemed worthy to paint, or certainly not in the way I paint, which I also began to question. I started a few, only to abandon them the next day in sheer disgust. I painted a couple apples, an olive tree and even attempted a painting from my imagination. They are not horrible, but I also would never suggest that they might in any way contribute to the world of good art. Ah well.
There are many artists who simply get out of bed, grab their painting gear, and head down to the corner to paint the pretty drugstore, but I am not one of them. I spend more time wandering around, just observing. When I come across something that seems worthy of becoming a painting, I really take my time to consider the subject, its elements and how they change with weather and time of day. Sometimes the kind of light dictates the mood I want the painting to have, and other times I decide whether I want to render the details fully or if I should paint more broadly. All is based on the subject, in terms of what and how I paint. It also means that I pretty much paint anything, but not everything. I particularly prefer subjects which incorporate a series of different observations, from the overall abstract patterns of light and shade, the inclusion of important details, glazing and scumbling effects, the feeling of air, the employment of color harmony or accents, and a certain quirkiness in the subject, something which is one step away from how things are supposed to be. The complexity of the project is a thrill for me, as is a longing to play with the illusionary possibilities of paintings.
“Morandi by the Bed,” Oil on linen, 14 x 18 inches
The final emersion from my summer of artist’s block happened when I recently spent a weekend in Jerusalem, having been offered a friend’s apartment. When I walked in and saw the bedroom, I knew it could be a painting. I actually decided to sleep on the sofa in the living room in order to not disturb the pillows or mattress cover. I loved the presence of the Morandi print, and the gray, uncovered pillows, the crooked carpet, and the way the light chased from yellow to blue across the wall. There are still a few things more I want to touch, but overall I am satisfied, and I now have several new ideas for paintings. Will share them in due course.