Thursday, 26 April 2007

Sneaking a Sunrise Past a Rooster…

The rooster, Henry VII, has finally had his finishing touches completed and he is ready to take his place on the website. It has taken time but I have changed the whole way I work. Part of my problem with this process has been the fact that I would work on one painting at a time, becoming horribly frustrated when reaching an impasse. The painting of the moment would be in very real danger of death by gesso (painting over), as I would struggle to regain motivation. Now I have started a whole new approach and not surprisingly it was inspired by those of you out there who have struggled with your creative traumas and blogged about it.

One of the purposes here was to focus and become productive so on the days when I couldn’t pick up a brush; I trawled the Internet following links from one blogger to another. There is so much going on out there it’s amazing! First new concept was the ACEO, “art card, editions and originals”. These little paintings are the direct descendents of the ATC, Artist Trading Cards, developed in the 17th century by artists to trade with other artists in order to study each other’s technique and not intended to sell. The Impressionists were the first to open the ATC to the buying public when they began selling or exchanging their art cards for board and lodging or supplies. The ACEO is exactly the same as an ATC but is put out there by artists to sell. This practice is meant to augment their incomes, as well as increase their patronage. The venue for selling ACEOs currently seems to be restricted to eBay and a few websites. Early cards were not standardised, although they generally had to be smaller than 4” x 5”. The standard size for cards traded or sold today is 2 ½ “ x 3 ½ “ and the artist should sign and date the card on the back and also number it if it forms part of an edition.

The second concept is “The Daily Painting” or “Painting a Day” movement. I was blown away to discover that a number of artists are producing something new and exciting (and finished) every day, in the space of an hour or two! My introduction to this was thanks to Muddy Red Shoes (see links on right) who was turning out a huge quantity of quality work on a blog site she had set up for the purpose. I’ve since found other artists who are doing, or who did, paint a painting a day. The whole prospect sounds daunting at first; I mean I’ve been having trouble with a ‘Painting a Month’! Still, I’m going to explore it further and anyone interested in finding out more should just try googling in “painting a day” and see how many references there are!

All of this input led me to a lot of questions such as ‘why only one painting at a time’ and why stick to a standard size like 23” x 27” (for example)? Now I’ve got several paintings all in various stages of progress and I’m currently working on some ACEOs (with the help of a magnifying lamp - nicked from M's workshop) but most importantly, paintings are now getting finished so I guess the creative block is resolving itself. I really hope so…the garden is singing its siren songs again!


ACEO – Ewe plus two


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