Beginning May 12th, some of my paintings will be on display at The Shirt Factory Gallery in Glens Falls, New York. They will be part of a show featuring the work of my painting teacher, Joan Reid, and her students, along with that of other local artists. I’m very proud Joan asked me to submit a few items for the show, and to have them hanging alongside the work of such talented people.
I have not entered any of my paintings into an exhibition in a couple of years. As much as I enjoy painting, it tends to take a back seat to my poetry, writing and photographic efforts. I still think I have a long way to go in terms of being very “good” at it –my internal vision never yet seems to quite match what I put down on the canvas.
I always seem to want to be more free and impressionistic with my style, but continue to struggle with getting caught up in the details. It’s an old habit that’s dying hard. I used to both draw and paint very realistically. Capturing the reality of what I saw accurately was the goal.
Now more and more I want to capture the feeling of something as well as the idea of it. That’s harder thing to do, and I’m easily frustrated. For me, it’s like learning to speak another language that I don’t know the alphabet for, or how to put words together, much less understand whole sentences. Still, I go on trying to learn how to portray what I see in my mind’s eye.
But I am pleased with paintings going into this show. I have painted mostly flower close-ups, and recently I have been working on a series on old barns. I submitted two of each, ones I both liked and thought were well-done. Painting, I’ve found is quite a different thing to attempt: I can work on one over and over for hours or days, or over the course of months, and I never seem to approach it the same way twice. It is a good lesson in learning to evolve, adapt, and go with the flow. And above all, to be patient with myself.