Well, about those simple paintings I was talking about doing; I did one last night!
I knew, basically, that I wanted to attempt a really simple style -- a kind of "naive" childlike style of drawing with no worrying about perspective or realism. Just color and fun. The way I used to work was rewarding after the fact, but I'd spend days working on a drawing with reference photos and overlays, trying to get everything just right. It wasn't fun. Then I'd spend weeks oil painting it. That was kind of fun, but it took too long trying to achieve a degree of realism.
So yesterday I sat down to do some sketches, hoping to find some "naive" style that I would like -- but I couldn't really make my brain do it! It's harder than it looks! I wasn't getting anything I liked. Then Clementine woke up and wanted to be fed, so I had her in my lap, and I continued drawing, only this time I had a boppy and a baby on my lap, so I had the paper way out to the side of me on the sofa and I could barely see it. Still, I sketched, and . . . I liked those drawings! Something about the process encouraged looseness that is not my usual style! It was fun! So last night, after Clementine was put down to bed (though she woke up repeatedly and Jim and I took turns coaxing her back to sleep), I painted this. Here's a detail:
It's not a work of staggering genius or anything, but it was just what I wanted to do: a simple, colorful painting, quickly executed.
And since I spend a lot of time nursing, that's a lot of drawing time :-) I got to thinking about whether writing in that way might loosen me up the way it did with drawing. Maybe. I have some picture book ideas I might play with while nursing: notebook on the sofa beside me, messy writing. When you want to try a new style, it can help to change your set-up. If you write on a computer, try hand-writing, maybe with a purple pen. You know?
Oh, and I still had to fight my natural tendencies with the painting. When I got to my studio desk with the drawing and faced the decisions of turning it into a painting, I began in my usual old way, which was to painstakingly transfer the drawing onto a prepared canvas. Ugh. As soon as I started doing that, it wasn't fun anymore. So I stopped, and redrew the drawing on the canvas instead, knowing it wouldn't come out exactly the same, but encouraging any new wonkiness, because that's what I want, after all. And it was way more fun that way! So, as the painting expresses, I'm pretty HAPPY :-) It was nice to be putting color on a canvas again!
Oh yeah. One more thing . . .
Awww . . .