Sometimes, no, most of the time I really feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall. Over and over again. I'm not sure if the wall has a dent in it yet - or if it's just my head with the dent. Things get way worse when I look at work by other representational painters. There's a very good blog here http://thehiddenplace.wordpress.com that has lots and lots of work by contemporary painters. I haven't fully explored the site, but from what I've seen all the current rock stars in representational painting are here - the painters usually gushed over in American Art Collector and American Artist. But there's others I hadn't known about, with a strong showing from the UK and continent. On the blog there are links to the artists' websites, as well as examples of their work. It's a very depressing place.
The author has a few words to say about each painter. I like the way the author's mind works. Each painter is given about a paragraph. The remarks about Lipking I found especially interesting. The author is right that really there isn't much depth to his work. It is beautiful, but is that enough? Shouldn't there be more than a beautiful subject rendered beautifully? Then again the same was said about Sargent and Bouguereau. Go figure.
But tomorrow is another day, and I'm very much looking forward to tomorrow. We have our new model and I plan on exploring a variety of themes and ideas. I've got a 20x24 I've plans for, and hopefully I'll find my painting tomorrow. The plan is to throw a lot of ideas in the air and see where they fall. Poor girl.
One idea intrigueing me was sparked by an artist on TV talking about looking at herself nude in the mirror. She wondered if that was really her, if her outside had anything to do with her inside. (She was a conceptual artist.) My opinion is, well yeah...of course it does. We may not be able to choose our height, skin color or how big our feet are, but the choices we make throughout our lives sculpt outside appearance. If a person smiles and laughs a lot - it shows in their face. If they've struggled throughout - it shows. If they enjoy eating and dislike exercise - it shows. There is no Descartesian divide between body and mind. It's all one. And it's one reason I like to paint people.