After the first week of paintings, I noticed I was falling into a rhythm of adding shapes and patterns to the background. Building some confidence with a new process felt great. I grabbed onto the great feeling of the patterns’ success and ignored trying things because they didn’t always turn out as beautifully perfect as I wanted. It was scary! When checking in with myself, I decided to redirect my focus to trying new techniques this past week.
Trying different techniques turned out quite well. These seven paintings include many more processes. The green and blue painting with 5 chairs from June 14 started on paper with ink. Then I added paint and cut out most of the bottom and glued it onto the panel. Then I painted the floor. The layer of paper adds depth and a slightly different texture.
On the high from this success, in subsequent paintings I added text, different paper elements, moved the pattern to the floor, and also used the panel itself as a palette. I keep reminding myself that these panels are for experimenting and trying out ideas on.
All the excitement about doing something different has made sharing the stories behind these paintings much easier for me. Posting the stories behind pieces on Instagram has been really enjoyable. One of my weaknesses is talking about my work. Basing these pieces on part of my own day coupled with more consideration of the added context gave me further content to document. The chair series is based on me wanting to empathize with people. I transform personal experience and observation into unspecific chairs instead of all the characters in my life, so a stranger could identify how they feel and know someone else felt that way too. In this process of really focusing on documenting an aspect in my day has given me a chance to explore moments and aspects of my life.
Today on Instagram, I shared the second to last painting in this blog post: a lone chair with some odd shapes floating around a yellow background. The Instagram caption reads: “On Sunday (day 14 of 50), I visited my grandma. Here Cal colors surround her timid body in the random, vast floating wonder of her disease. Before painting this, I cried for the first time about her situation and felt thankful she remains sweet and pleasant.” If I wasn’t doing this project, I don’t know if I would have processed the sadness of seeing my grandma so depleted from Alzheimer’s this past weekend as quickly. There may not be anyone reading this or actually looking at my Instagram and that’s okay, but I send them out now in case they help someone get through their day and feel heard and understood.
Above: All 15 paintings so far, plus one panel with my first random underpainting layer.
Below: Paintings from June 14 to June 20