Monday, October 20, 2014

The Surface of my Work


I am often asked how long it takes me to create a piece of art. I rarely have a good answer to that question, primarily for two reasons. The first is that different artworks take significantly different amounts of time to complete. The second, and probably most relevant reason, is that my process tends to unfold over time. I almost never complete an artwork in one sitting.


I tend to work in stages and visit revisit each piece numerous times too many times to count. I often have multiple pieces being hatched simultaneously and enjoy the ability to move from one piece to another. My sense is that this process allows me to avoid artist block.


I find that when I step away from what I am working on and come back later, I see the work with a fresh perspective and new eyes. At that point, the pieces speak to me, and I feel ready to move forward.


The first four pictures in this post represent backgrounds of works in progress that I will continue to work on. Sometimes this process unfolds over the course of days but usually it is a matter of weeks.

Occasionally, I revisit a work from prior years and know that there is more to do in the present. For example, the following piece was created in a workshop I took well over a year ago taught by Finnabair.


But I have recently reworked it and made significant changes to the feel of the piece.


As I change over time, so does my reflection in the surface of my work.

(Memories is available for purchase in my online shop)

14 comments:

jinxxxygirl said...

Stepping away from my work and coming back to it is a valuable tool i use. And i'm always juggling multiple things...... I sometimes think i would get more accomplished if i just concentrate on one piece but then i get stuck and end up doing alot less than if i'd just had other pieces to work on while stuck..lol..... Love seeing your work Seth. Hugs! deb

A Magical Whimsy said...

I love the depth and texture in all four pieces, Seth.
And thank you so very much for stopping by to chat on my blog and leave such a kind comment about the Primitive Folk ATC's my friend and I created. Even those small ATC's are a lot of work! The layers are really what brings it all together.
And it is amazing how we can cover up with collage, or paint over what we aren't satisfied with and nobody but the artist will be the wiser. I do like WIP photos which helps to see the whole creative process in stages which you have just shown in this post.
Cheers!
Teresa in California

elle said...

A great quandary- work on one or several. But one thing I know, making art requires time!

Caterina Giglio said...

Such rich texture .. It is interesting how time changes our perspective about our creations.. I imagine Van Gogh would be reworking Starry Night ..if he had the chance!

Vickie said...

I'm a big fan of "walk away" and come back later. As a fan of your DVD's I understand your process and love it. I have a piece that I just finished using your instructions. I love it...and your work!

Win Dinn said...

I am loving the texture of your work, and awed by the transfiguration of the uncertain piece to the memories one. The change is very powerful.

Don Madden said...

Nice work.

Jo Murray said...

I GET all that you said Seth. Your backgrounds are so complex and lush...no wonder they inspire you to make great images.

Laly Mille said...

Same for me, sometimes a painting gets put aside for months before I come back to it. Your Memories piece is lovely!

JackieP Neal said...

and so, this is why I never finished any of my pieces from my classes at AIY! Thanks for pointing that out Seth! ")
Your backgrounds always amaze me at how different they are and how gorgeous each one is!
Love your re-worked piece-another stunner! how were the ginger snaps?
Hugs

audrey said...

Seth, I have always loved the work you put into your backgrounds ~ so full of texture, color, and interest. These four backgrounds are stunning. Usually, a background is what "makes" a painting work. You excel in that department.

Kay Wallace said...

Working on a Design Team seems to take so much of my time that I find little time left to actually create for my own pleasure. I have made up my mind to change that and to begin painting, something at which my mother was very, very good and I have been afraid to begin. I loved being "painterly" in your class as Art-Is-You, Seth, and you have so inspired me to begin. Thank you so very much!

Carol said...

Love seeing how you work, Seth. I thought Uncertain looked just fine but wow! Now that it is Memories, you have taken it to a wonderful new level. It's really beautiful.

PamelaArtsinSF said...

Love the depth and the layers, Seth -- and hearing about your process is wonderful.