Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Entry #7 

On a Roll

I forgot how much I like working in oil. Yes, it’s the intensity of colours and smooth blendability. But what I really enjoy, (and oil lends itself to this naturally) is working many pieces at once. Maybe it’s because I have taught for so long. I am used to problem solving at each painting, and enjoy that process. So now each one of my oil paintings is a student of mine. I meet each one, wherever it is, and problem solve from there. Now that I have many on the go, and all at different stages, it’s very fun to review and work a bit on one, leaving it to dry while I go and problem solve somewhere else. It’s a bit frustrating, because pastel is so immediate, but if I keep my patience level in check, in a few days, I should be overflowing in finished paintings.
   Today is my still life day. I’m working 4 paintings, and doing a few tweaks here and there on others. I find the last few layers in oil quite satisfying, and really give work a more polished and finished look. So the patience thing, letting things dry to a certain extent, is really important.  Another skill, requiring that patience again, but also awareness, is knowing when you need to take a break. Making poor decisions from fatigue is a common problem. Keeping your energy at an even keel, allows one to continue being effective, efficient, and allow your motivation to endure til the end. For me, that’s getting these 21 paintings all down by end of work Wednesday. I will keep you informed.  
    So far, I do have some landscape, but a lot of flowers, some with mountains in the background. Three waterfalls, so far. I want the work to reflect the country, Costa Rica. I’ve also just worked out these stills, and I can see this may be a project to work out over many years. Each year, learning more about this wonderful country. 

    Did you know Costa Rica rates first of all countries in the world on the happiness index? The happiness index uses three criteria to judge by: life expectancy, experienced well-being, and ecological footprint. Here in the mountains, watching the local people go about their daily lives, you see people who exist in nature, tightly tied to community, it’s no wonder they are happy. This has nothing to do with how much money they have, or their ability to be independent. Perhaps it’s no surprise that different cultures may have different ideas about what happiness is. 

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