Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Creative Process and Giant thumbnails

This is a possible candidate for a painting I am going to call "Down to Earth. This is a 9x12 rough sketch. I know you are supposed to do small little drawings to work out problems, but for some reason, I need to work bigger on my roughs for this. If my work ethic follows my creative ambition, there will be a series of these paintings.

Let me start at the beginning..

I was driving home from the grocery store and I heard this song.

"Calling All Angels"

I need a sign to let me know you're here
All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere
I need to know that things are gonna look up
'Cause I feel us drowning in a sea spilled from a cup

When there is no place safe and no safe place to put my head
When you feel the world shake from the words that are said

[Chorus:]
And I'm calling all angels
I'm calling all you angels

I won't give up if you don't give up [Repeat x4]

I need a sign to let me know you're here
'Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear
I want a reason for the way things have to be
I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me

[Chorus]

When children have to play inside so they don't disappear
While private eyes solve marriage lies cause we don't talk for years
And football teams are kissing Queens
and losing sight of having dreams
In a world that what we want is only what we want until it's ours

[Chorus x2]

Calling all you angels [Repeat till fade]



This song reminded me how much I really dislike Reality TV. The news is depressing. We are in a war that is very hard to understand. Everyone seems to be a politician and they are all campaigning months earlier than they ever used to. If it weren't for History Channel, Discovery Channel and HGTV, I would get rid of our satellite.

As I drove between cornfields, I passed our neighbors gathered around a cornfield they were harvesting. I waved as I drove by and thought to myself "This is exactly the kind of angel this song is about." These were the same neighbors that use their tractors to plow our road so that everyone can get to town in the winter. They take care of us so well, the road department rarely comes out here. They are not celebrities, but they certainly deserve to be celebrated. If they were graded on a percentage of time and income, I would venture to guess they give a lot more than some of the most popular people we see on television. There are a lot more angels out there than we often give thought to. We just don't always notice the wings.

With this idea in mind, I have come up with an idea for a series. I haven't decided the size of the series or the distinct details of each one. The theme of the series will be every day people of average capacity can be angels. The titles are going to be words often used to describe someone. This particular one is going to be "Down to Earth" and contain objects you see the farmers and field workers carrying around with them. I want them to be objects that appear to have been just been taken off, or ready to put on. Granted, my neighbors do not find it practical to wear their wings during harvest time, but I have leaned them against the chair to show they do have them.

This particular painting is going to set the boundaries for the rest of the series. I am going to use this to determine the size and mood for the rest. I want the angel wings to blend in and be almost unnoticed, but not quite. Ideas for others are streaming in my mind before I even get this composition done. My end goal is to get some paintings together with things that your average anyone could say "Hey.. thats me!" While this one is my vision of a farmer, it might be that great outdoor lover that always helps people, to someone else. When I told my husband my idea, he instantly thought of 40 Hour Week by Alabama. This is probably not the most unique idea, but one worthy of being repeated.

I am into the experimental phase of my creative process. I get an idea and the overload sets in. I am jotting notes in my journal of objects and people and situations that might fit into this theme for all the paintings. I have learned to just let the ideas fly and filter them later. I am experimenting with lighting and layout. More importantly, since this is a pretty large set up, I am trying to make sure my set up isn't going to be in a location that is going to be disrupted easily. This could easily turn into months and months of work. Since it is still life, I have the advantage of working indoors for the winter. It is probably the best timing I have ever had with a project.

I was getting kind of worried that all this master copy and using photographs had turned my creativity to mush. I think perhaps I just needed to step out and allow life to work its magic accidentally.

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