This painting took 1.5 hours. Breakdown= 1.25 hours of painting a realistic, detailed image; 5 minutes intensely disliking the result; 5 minutes wiping off the painting; 5 minutes repainting. This 5-minute painting is more interesting than what was there after 1.25 hours, though I don't think I could've come up with this without having "gotten to know" the habaneros so well for that first 1.25 hours.
However, I am hoping that in the future these painting sessions will get a little less painful. I've been spending a lot of time lately painting, then getting angry, then attacking the painting, and liking the result more than one would expect... It's interesting also that I've been noticing that a lot of my painter-blogger-buddies out there have also been traveling over some rough (artistic) roads lately, causing many of us to decide to veer off for a while into uncharted or previously rejected territory.
On that note, I've decided that I need to really pay attention to what's happening with my painting process. I think there must be a reason (in an Art-Gods-reason kind of way) that I've been feeling so derailed. There's this really bizarre sensation that I've literally forgotten how to paint, in the sense that I can't seem to do it the way I used to do it even a week or two ago, even when I try to. I've decided that I need to do more experimenting. I know people's interests and styles change, and I assume that is what's happening with me. And it will happen again, and again...
During this phase, I am feeling the need to go back to abstracts again, and to perhaps copy some small-scale works of artists I admire (though I never seem to actually have the patience to do that), and to try some radical things that probably won't get posted here, and do some small very unfinished studies, and to try to recover some child-like fun experimentation with art.
And I may change my mind again tomorrow and keep doing the still lifes in precisely the same style as I have been...or I may never go back to them again. (The truth, as usual, likely lying somewhere in between.) I got a lovely email from artist Sheila Vaughan, who has been through the same experience. I'm going to hop off the hamster wheel of daily still-life paintings for now, but I might hop back on at any moment. And that's the kind of explorative freedom I want to cultivate: an "anything-goes" feeling on any given day that I step into the studio. That's probably an unreachable ideal, but the idea is in the ideal.
So anyway, just a heads-up, because it's kind of cool but also kind of weird and kind of intimidating to have a virtual "audience." I plan to keep posting regularly, but I don't know what sorts of things I'll be posting. But it's more fun that way for you anyway, isn't it? :)