While going through my photos in preparation for this posting, I was surprised to see that according to the dates on the image files, I finished the first 12 paintings in the Primordial series back in January of 2012. Time really is flying by; I thought it was much later in the year! While working on the first 12, I had ordered another 2 dozen 8×8 panels plus a dozen 12×12, and those sat in the basement for most of the year until I came back from Peru and had an urgent need to get back to painting. I prepped them all at the same time – tape the sides, then give each one two coats of Golden GAC100 and three thin coats of gesso. This goes pretty fast with a paint roller, so it’s not as bad as it sounds.
When faced with a repetitive task that doesn’t require much creativity, I like to listen to something other than music to take my mind off how boring it is. TED talks are good for this, but I also found a local podcast called Untitled Art Show that was so interesting, I decided to go back and listen to a lot of the really early ones. While the main focus of the shows is the Denver art scene and local artists, the hosts – Erik Isaac and Michael Keen – also do an admirable job of discussing the issues and opportunities encountered by artists everywhere. For example, how does an artist who works in more than one discipline handle the pros and cons of doing so? That’s an issue that particularly resonates with me.
I hadn’t planned on doing so originally, but after prepping all those panels, I decided to keep them all out and start working on them at the same time. This ended up having several advantages, one of which is that if you’re in the mode of working small, you don’t have to continually adjust your mindset.
Another interesting phenomenon of working this way is that the works are all informed by one another; it’s as though they’re having a conversation among themselves. A design element for one very often inspires a solution for a problem with a different one.
The only clear disadvantage is space. As I worked on each one, I would move it off the table and onto my secondary working space, the plastic on the floor, to get it out of the way while it dried. I sure love having my studio in my house because I can get up at 5 in the morning and start working right away if so inclined, or keep working well into the evening and not have to go out into the cold and drive back and forth to a studio. But I would also love to have about twice as much room as I currently do. Some day I’ll be rich and famous and will make this happen.