A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Art Process

Acrylic, Gloss & Pencil on paper, 8" x 10"

I stopped painting last March.  I stopped blogging.  I did quit smoking cigarettes from the first of January till the end of July last year.  Now I'm stuck with it for now.  I've been stuck lately with other things.  My sponsor told me that I needed to let my inner child play.  So I turned to art books and postcards.  I picked out a postcard with a photo of a Richard Diebenkorn painting called Ocean Park (Number 30).  Then I looked for and found a book called The Art of Richard Diebenkorn, a book given to me by my mother years ago (along with many, many other great books she chose for me).  I looked through the book for inspiration and insight and decided to base a simple painting on a few of the elements from the postcard.  This is my first attempt.  Here's Diebenkorn's image:

Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park (Number 30)

Diebenkorn has precise lines; I do not.  I'm not patient enough.  Diebenkorn used oils and painted large; I did not.  Diebenkorn worked on subtle surface variations.  I followed a little bit enjoying the brushstrokes on the paper using my Dollar Store acrylics, but my brushstrokes were primarily vertical and horizontal and hence not as vital.  I initially made some color choices based on Diebenkorn's image but soon strayed away.  The orange, pink and red are strong on the left side of my painting whereas Diebenkorn's salmon pink has a quieter vibrance.  

I think I will keep going with this painting, add more lines, vary the brushstrokes, maybe paint lighter tones over darker ones.  I might try a series of these and vary the approach after the initial shapes, colors and values have been set up.  I have stamps, patterned tape, watercolor pencils, various gels, collage pieces - a bunch of stuff to play around with.  

My play has a serious edge to it.  I think the child in me likes to study.  I have to remember to take breaks the way I do when I'm studying my support books.  Walk away to look again from a different place in time, in different light.  

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