Anatomy of an Artist's Exhibition- part 10
Using a Maul-Stick
Now that I am back to my making art, I must remain conscious of the use of my hand. With my arm raised in position of holding a brush and working on a large canvas requiring an easel, the arm and hand becomes tired and even painful. With my release from physiotherapy for tendinitis, it frightens me to think of another few months away from my work and exhibition progress should I injure my hand in over use again. I am still doing a few exercises each day to rest it when my hand and wrist feel stiff from use.
I had improvised a maul device sometime ago using a metal curtain rod about 3 feet long. I wrapped both ends generously and duct taped that to the rod creating a large soft ball on each end. One end will rest upon my lap or anything else in the correct position for me, while the other end rests on the canvas. Now I can rest my arm or my wrist on the rod part and paint in comfort without the weight of holding my arm aloft.
So I have found my maul again and discovered its usefulness with my healing hand. I can comfortably go back to my painting with this assistance.
I have also reevaluated my Arab Spring piece and put it out on web for comment. I was not sure of its strength or meaning. Then I saw that the blood spatter or drip was too intense and too perfect in shape. With another snow fall, I went out to test the way blood would drip in the snow.With a solution of heavy cream and red paint I poured or dripped it into the snow. With a remote, I photographed the results capturing the pour as well. With the photos in hand, I altered the blood drip on the canvas and was much happier with the results. It did not overpower as before and the melting in the snow of the warm blood is more realistic. Sometimes an experiment is an asset especially when you are not familiar with the action or item to be painted. I don’t rely much on photography for my work as I am more of a purist and want to see from life how something will be seen by my eyes. However I couldn’t ask for this realistic reenactment.
Now I must look at the shadows from the branches and its direction in the snow. The actual branch is gone now, so again I will use a small experiment. I can duplicate the branches easily with material and hold a light above to see where the branch shadow will fall. I have enough experience from my own eyes with shadow and snow. But still there didn’t seem to be strength or purpose enough in the painting. I had envisioned it to be strictly more design and colour but think I would have to redo in a modern technique for that to work. This is still too impressionist or realistic. So rather than begin again I will work this piece out. It is how it evolved from the beginning so will want to complete to see if it has substance after all. I have heard from some that they don’t get it. I can only say that I am feeling or commenting on a historic situation from afar. I am not present to paint it as it is, nor do I understand all of its complexities. I just feel for those that have taken to the streets so bravely. So I must paint this from where I stand and with what is familiar to me.
With that in mind, I have drawn up a raven to add to the painting giving it a more prominent subject matter, and adding the imperceptible fortune that awaits the future as mythology of the raven. It is known to appear when some significant event will occur. It is also know as a trickster as well as life giver. So I think this adds some more depth to the piece as well as some drama. With the blood it is now apiece that although somewhat realistic and simple will ask questions and provoke the viewer.