Efficiency & a Break

Studio View

I had been dreading this piece, No. 29,  for a while because I initially wasn’t feeling terrific about the etching ink work, but I was pleasantly surprised by how fluid the process ended up being.  I think I’ve reached a new level of efficiency with these drawings where I can be more reliant on the etching ink to articulate forms.  At the same time I’ve become a lot less picky about making everything as fully resolved, and have been allowing some areas to remain more ambiguous and less defined. Ultimately this is the better approach, as I want to achieve a range between areas that are highly detailed to areas that are barely defined. Trying to achieve this balance makes me think of paintings by John Singer Sargent: from a distance everything holds together so beautifully. But upon further inspection, it quickly becomes clear that he intentionally left certain areas underworked and placed great importance on the tight details of others.

I’m coming up on a break in this project; school is already starting to kick into high gear, and on top of that, I ran out of the Dura-Lar material. My short term goal for this week is to finish No. 30, 31, and 32. After 32 is finished I have to wait for the Dura-Lar to arrive which could be a while since I have to have it special ordered through the RISD Store. In many ways I think it would be helpful at this stage to stop and then be able to come back and return with a fresh eye on the project. It’s a good opportunity for me to step back and clear my head of the images, which right now feel burned into my brain.  Simultaneously, a part of me is also worried that I’ll lose momentum, the intensity and focus,  and that I will “forget” how to make the work. I feel anxious about having to reboot and start again, it’s one of the hardest parts of the process that I experience is that very beginning.  When you’re deep in the trenches and in the moment, everything seems more fluid and falls into place.

Self-Portrait No. 29

Self-Portrait No. 29 (detail)

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