There comes a time in an artist’s studio practice when there is nowhere to work. All surfaces are occupied, references are piled on the floor and there is a very real danger of spilling coffee on the masterpiece or putting the mug down on top of a very nice little sketch. Don’t ask me how I know!
The amount of time spent in preparation and mental manoevres to get to a flow state is often greater than the time spent painting. I have been gearing myself up to working in oils seeing as most of my watercolours have rigor mortis – they lie twisted and dried up in an After Eights tin. Hence a bit of a clean up and a rummage in the tool box for a spanner or pair of pliers that will get the tops off paint tubes.
I am struggling already with paint that has no mind of its own and needs me to place every blob and stroke. It sits on the surface like a tiny turd and I have to resist the urge to saturate it in turps and spread it over the canvas like a wash. It does not work like that, and so I feel like a complete beginner again! Thanks to YouTube and a million art tutorials I am more confused and frustrated than ever and remind myself that this is the life of an artist. I am far from cutting my ear off but slashing the canvas and throwing my brushes at the wall is a recurring thought.