Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Letting Go

I'm a little slow posting this week because I've been in a 5 day painting/drawing workshop with William Park.  The workshop reminded me that there are 2 processes I adore: 1. hand stitching and 2. putting paint to paper.

This was such an unusual workshop, not at all what I expected, but probably one of the most life-changing art workshops I've had.

Bill is all about letting go when you draw/paint.  I lean towards painting loosely and intuitively, so that isn't too much of an issue for me, but Bill takes it farther.  His central belief is you have to be able to let go of the parts you like in a painting, as well as those you don't like, in order to be able to paint without fear.  It's a true Buddhist study in not clinging to anything.

We began day one with value studies in black and white.  We had to find an object to work from which ended up being our subject for the week.  I found a cluster of pods out the door.  We worked in charcoal and added black ink and white acrylic:

We then spent the next 4 days working on 2 canvases.  Canvas One:

And a close up:

Canvas Two:

And a close up:
By day 3, I was feeling somewhat satisfied with my paintings and had no idea how I was going to work on them for two more days.  I found myself fiddling around with little bits then finally started painting over parts that I liked in order to try new things.  That's when I felt a sense of freedom I've never had in painting before, and my paintings started becoming richer and more layered as a result.

These still are in progress, and with this approach they may never end up finished, but I am loving every minute of working on them.


Deb said...

These are wonderful. Especially like #2....nothing like wet paint for a sense of freedom

arlee said...

Robin, these are amazing! They remind me of rainy days looking outside with a sense of excitement. I can hardly put it into words. Magic.

tory said...

Robin,Your paintings are fabulous, I was in Portland with my family looking at blogs and they all loved your work.

Paula McNamee said...

Your "works in progress" are much more developed than I thought they would be from your description of them. They're beautiful now. How large are the paintings? What will they look like when you let go more?

purple bird art said...

Hi Robin - thanks for visiting my blog - your paintings are amazing - I love the depth and emotion - you pull the viewer right into the painting with your color and composition - Jan

Anonymous said...

WOW you are a painter! I would of loved that workshop the black and white were striking, the oranges w/ stroke od blue stunning!

Robin Olsen said...

Thanks for all the nice comments about my paintings! To answer Paula's questions, they are 30"x36". I've been letting them sit for a week and don't think they need too many more changes. A bit of sharpening here and dulling there, but nothing too major.

Karen Stiehl Osborn said...

Just visited your blog after you left a comment on mine, and I love these pod paintings!