Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"You just start."

The idea of writing a book has always seemed so daunting to me. When a friend (who is in fact a published author) was visiting during the holidays, I asked how one actually starts writing a book. Her response (with a smile) was, "You just start." I've been procrastinating with posting my first blog entry, hoping for something substantial to say, but realize that I need to "just start."

My experiences in the studio have been pretty much the same. Start with a simple idea, expand it, experiment with it, develop a way of handling the concept that seems interesting...and then just start the painting. You can consider this as the expanding and experimenting phases of my blog idea. There's something a little scary about this posting thing, but I'm committed to seeing it through.

I've been working most of the winter (and it's been a very long one this year!) in my studio, developing more appreciation for subdued lighting in my landscape paintings. Cloudy, rainy, cool light--finding a way to use color and composition to complement a more moody atmosphere. I thought it would be easier to accomplish! Sunny and warm with shadows is easy--cold and wet and BEAUTIFUL is a challenge. Exploring these ideas has provided me with new insight on what I didn't know about value and color. It's been great, frustrating but great. I've included one of the paintings from this winter series: "First Harvest." 20 x 16", pastel on panel. The wind was howling the day I sketched the field study for this, and so cold, my fingers were getting numb. Painting from the study brought back that winter feeling.

That's it for this post. Thanks for taking the time to read it, and hope to be fully into the next "phase" with my next post--past the experimenting part, and into the "interesting" part!


  1. Susan! Great to see you in the world of blogs! I'm excited to see your new work. The next challenge I've been mulling around in the back of my brain is a puddle on a rainy day. Check out my blog if you have time to see the waterfall that was my exercise in values - trying to convey the sense of shadow on the focal point with the bight sun up at the top of the painting. www.matthewweld.blogspot.com

  2. Clearly it's spring across the country--I, too, am working on an acrylic of a damp road with puddles! This is a great start, Susan, and I think you''ll find it quite addictive to write about your process--before you know it, that book will be half-written!
    Ruth www.ruthrodgers.com

  3. Susan, I know where you are coming from. I too just started blogging and found a great online resource Alyson Stanfield's and Cynthia Morris's Blog Triage (http://www.vivelaslink.typepad.com/), a four week class on blogging which began last week. Talk about timing! Today's topic is generating content ideas. If she offers it again I would say it is definitely worth looking into.