What have I learned?
- Metaphors are really useful.
- Simple is powerful.
- Limited palette is cohesive.
- Dark to light works for me.
Now the plan is to sort through paintings that have not stood up to my test of time and can be “improved” or totally changed. This includes about a dozen paintings in various sizes and I am on the fence about how to proceed with them. Some need to be scraped, and some just reworked. It’s a dicey process, but instead of trying to reconstruct where my head was at three or four years ago, it seems important to play out the current processes and explore issues I am dealing with now. I suspect that one way to do this effectively is to do some trial and error pieces with paper only. Good BFK Rives paper and Arches Aquarelle, but not at the expense of primed panels. The paper can be tossed, but the panels are too valuable if experiments don't work.
I have just come across a little trick of using paper plates to record the palette used. The idea is to keep dabs of color on the plate and then write down what the mix is. I have done versions of this before but not so regulated. I also like the notion of pinning the paper plates to the wall for instant reference. I want to apply the same procedure with underpainting and layers. Seems like this could save a great deal of wasted time and decision making.
I have been fortunate in 2017 to have three one-person shows and understand a simple and perhaps obvious rule; the more you show, the better the chances for sales. Sales have been the best ever this year and easily doubled from the year before. I have discovered that it is not necessarily the work that I think is best that sells. There also seems to be a preference for shades of blue pigments with quasi-recognizable imagery. Does this make a difference to my work? I hope not. Just saying. Many of you will argue this conclusion and I welcome the argument. Of course it always depends on the audience.