This is a bit of a continuation from the last blog post. Along with the concerns haunting me about laziness and the like, while the as yet unfinished 'Fire Dancer' was taunting me from the back of the couch, were questions of whether I had lost my passion for paint. Was it time to move on to something else? Had I finished my run with that medium and moved into a time for something new and different? Or, perhaps, was it a matter of location? Most of my previous paintings had been 4' x 5' and I had always built the frame from the ground up. During that time spent cutting and forming; stretching the canvas; losing knuckle skin as I attempted to get it tighter; fixing the background with layer upon layer of white paint - I had always been thinking of the painting-to-be. What was the mood I wanted to convey; what colours would move me towards that; what photos might I want to add in to the painting? What was the underlying message forming in my heart? Now, I live in an apartment - with a very small patio. I cannot take my strips of wood and saw and hammer them into a frame. I cannot wield a 4' x 5' hunk of blank canvas around my living room and paint it. Truthfully, it would take up all the space on my living room floor. I don't have good light in here to paint by either. I have to have my canvas by my patio doors in the daytime. night time painting is out of the question. (But night is the time I work best.) One of the other processes I have often used, was to place the framed canvas outside on the lawn and work on it there where I would apply paint and at certain times, hose it down and work it with my feet. I just can't do that here. Another part of the process I enjoyed using was to incorporate rubbings into the painting. Bits of texture gleaned from rubbing graphite or pastel on paper to get the texture of wood or cement, for example. The environment I am in is rather texture-less. So the process I am used to working through has, for the moment, been lost to me. I need to create a new one. So, part of the solution has been to buy pre-hung canvas frames in smaller sizes. (It really hurts me to constrain myself to a canvas so small when I have such big ideas. :D ) Another part of the solution has been to lay an old shower curtain down on the floor to place the canvas on top of while I am working so as not to splatter paint all over. Part number three of the process has been to use smaller brush sizes. This I find awkward, but I am learning. I realize that renting studio space to work is an option, but I have difficulty with that. I prefer to work with my painting near me most of the time so I can glance at it now and then, out of the corner of my eye, to see what I like and what I don't. Things catch your attention when you aren't trying so hard to see them. Sometimes I work in fits and starts, a few minutes at a time to throw on a new colour and let it run or dry. (I like to be able to do my laundry in between if necessary.) Other times I work for hours on end, in which case I need access to a bathroom and a fresh supply of ever-present coffee. Sometimes even food. : ) So the logistics of a separate studio space are awkward. I would get stuck and bored, and give up and go home, then when I was at home I would think of what I wanted to do next, so I would go back. It would be back and forth and make me crazy! So no separate studio. Another thing I find awkward is that the canvas on these purchased frames is not the same weight as I am used to working with. The base coat of white feels rougher to the brush than what I am used to. As well, the white is not as bright and doesn't reflect the light back in the same way. I have purchased a small can of white paint, and for the next canvas I intend to slather on the layers atop the one the canvas comes with. Maybe that will help. There are so many tiny little things that one rationalizes shouldn't make any difference whatsoever, but they do. And I also realize that it's good to shake up your work habits now and then to get a fresher perspective of things . but the constraints on painting here just seem to make me feel restricted and annoyed more than anything! I am laughing as I say that, but that's how I feel. But regardless of all that - I have still managed to sneak in the completion of another painting that was unfinished. at least, I think it's done. :) This one is about the systems of water and soil on this planet. It's perhaps not as thought provoking a picture as I usually paint, but I was working at putting the system on paper so I could physically see it in my brain and work out something else I was trying to figure out. (I do, after all, paint for myself - not my audience). Sorry, but that's the way it is for me. When a painting pushes me to paint, it is usually because my brain is trying to settle on an answer to a bigger question. In the end, I think a big part of my hesitancy to paint things I envision, at the moment, is my location. Passionate about nature, these are my personal thoughts that get reflected in my work (and some of my snapshots and drawings). My work for sale can be found on the web at: