My ideas have changed, changed, and changed again...

by Aliene de Souza Howell (MFA 2011)
My ideas have changed, changed, and changed again. I have had much trouble trying to transfer the efficaciousness of my Germany mixed media works on paper into oil paintings or 3-dimensional pieces. After making a successful mock diorama I attempted to make a much larger 3-dimensional one that was an almost unqualified disaster. I also was working on a large oil painting of the same subject which has been slow and very naughty. It is currently in a time-out in my studio, facing the corner.

HOWEVER, I began working on a new totally unrelated painting of my cousin and had a fantastic and invigorating critique from my painting teacher, Margaret Bowland. Margaret was immediately disposed towards the portrait of my cousin I had been working on. She called me out on being a tormented artist and said how often when you have a natural aptitude for something you can take it for granted. And she was right, the supermarket painting felt forced. I was able to transfer the knowledge I gained from experimenting in Germany with different levels of transparency and opacity in my painting. Some areas are exposed underpainting and some are built up with wax medium.

Trial and error. Being a complete genius and nincompoop. A day (an hour?) in the studio. To quote e.e. cummings, "An artist, a man, a failure, must proceed."

The class I'm taking, Narrative Printmaking, is excellent. We did 20-minute presentations about what narrative printmaking means to us which were both informative and enlightening. I focused on Max Klinger (a Leipziger!) and Leonard Baskin mostly, and ended up with a lot of fresh inspiration. Although I went from Animal Farm to a Chinatown Umbrella story to my imagination and finally landed on a book of poetry, Thomas and Beulah, by Rita Dove, I picked up something with each incarnation. I had not done any printmaking in years and I have fallen in love with it all over again.

And I am outrageously excited about my Master Class with Jenny Saville this coming weekend!! The opportunity to take this class with her is one of the many reasons I came to the Academy and it is here!

1 comment:

  1. Encouraging to read that struggles exist. Sorry to say that but nonetheless there is comfort in knowing we have that in common.