October 26, 2021 – I’ve Been Reading, and It’s Triggered a Realization on My Part How Important the Surface of a Painting, My Own Paintings in Particular, Are to Me….

Angel, detail shot ©Felipe Adan Lerma, October 2021
Angel, detail shot ©Felipe Adan Lerma, October 2021

This is a little different post than usual, or at least lately for me – art related, yes, but a bit more introspective, which I’m prone to now and then, lol! What’s a bit different is, I’ve had an insight clarification about my art prompted by my combined recent reading in 3 different books (Kindle versions) —

They’re more than a bit different from each other, yet share creativity as their defining concern – at least as far as I can tell so far. See, like my half dozen works in progress right now (an occasional recurrent theme of how I work over the last 40+ years), I’ve begun all three of these books, like them, and dip into one or the other every other night, or so.

I’m not a consistent reader, but I am dedicated, truly 😊

Fanny Moyle’s Turner’s book is, so far, about the times he was born into and grew up within; which shares an evolution of how art and artist communities evolve with Mary Gabriel’s book on the New York abstract art scene in “Ninth Street Women.”

There’s differences of course, in the times portrayed, which group of artists struggled and why, how the art of the time overcame obstacles of showing – fascinating stuff.

And again, from the short start I have into Armand Rosamilia’s recent book, “A Month of Dunkin'” – he’s onto a search for triggers for his creativity, which he says he felt needed freshening, and, in interviews at a different Dunkin’ Donut Shop each day for a month, seems to be encountering everyday folks (so far) with amazing creativity of their own.

So me, I’m a coagulation of a lot of those themes 😊

My recent joining of figure work into abstracted surroundings (to some degree or other), has gotten me pondering again about my tinkering with painting and color fascinations when I was a child, I dash away paintings of Dali and others in my 20s, and this block of time from about 1978/9 to now, where I went from acrylic abstracts, to impressionism with water soluble oils applied to (mostly) Austin scenes (then later Vermont), to most recently, work with watercolors and once again acrylics – jumping from abstractions to figures to impressionist landscapes to now – more and more, a co-mingling of them all.

What the heck, I ask myself more and more, is all that about, lol!

I don’t know yet.

But, my preferred styles of painting are merging, more and more; and recently, the last few days, working on multiple canvases again (like the early 80s and early 2000s), I am reminded how often I was unsatisfied with a painting, no matter how nice it already looked, unless I could “improve” the surface of that painting.

Sometimes I attempted that, improving the painting’s surface, and succeeded. Sometimes I couldn’t think how to and then either foolishly tried too hard to make something happen, or, less often, wisely left the surface be. It was enough. Especially when I worked water soluble oils into impressionist landscapes. The very process provided more than ample leeway to create an interesting surface just in the process of layering and layering.

Now, since about 2019, I’ve evolved to using watercolors on absorbent ground, then watercolors and acrylics on light molding paste, plus occasionally painting on paper (something I hadn’t done since probably a sun tea jar I did in 1978), and have found the addition of those grounds, usually on stretched canvas (sometimes canvas panels), has created a rumply enough surface it’s intrigued me to find ridges and valleys and swerves of swells of ground to play with ❤️ and that has resurfaced my interest in tinkering with the surface of my current art work.

I enjoy doing that, immensely.

The surface of my work often being as important, or I should say, as interesting to me, as the image as a whole. And of course now I want to make the image as a whole, whether seen from a short nose-to-the canvas space, to the further distance where the image is, well, simply just an image as a whole.

Not too much to ask, if you have all day, lol! Which I don’t. So I guess that makes it at the least, a little too much to ask 😊 and I’m ok with that ☺️

Here then, are examples from 3 of my in-progress or nearly-done most recent work.

To show the change stronger, I’ll be showing the initiating painting effort, then 2 current surface close-ups —

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Walking in Light

Walking in Light ©Felipe Adan Lerma 1st lay-in after applying masking fluid, Oct 2021
Walking in Light ©Felipe Adan Lerma 1st lay-in after applying masking fluid, Oct 2021

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Mother and Child

Playtime Mother and Child, Paintings and blog posts in progress ©Felipe Adan Lerma Oct 2021
Mother and Child, in progress ©Felipe Adan Lerma Oct 2021

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Angel

Angel, ©Felipe Adan Lerma, October 2021
Angel, ©Felipe Adan Lerma, October 2021

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Stay well everyone! Creativity truly is a journey it seems, within and outside ourselves, intertwined and intermingling 💕

Adan

Direct link to my post, Deciding When My Painting is Done, Part 3
https://felipeadanlerma.com/2019/01/20/deciding-when-my-painting-is-done-part-3-adding-recognizable-objects-to-an-abstract-and-making-it-work/

My Related Posts Here On My Blog

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Thanks again, everyone! 😊

Adan

Artist self portrait - photo of Felipe Adan Lerma on converted railway track bike ferry for the Island Line Trail connecting mainland Vermont to South Hero on Lake Champlain.

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One comment

  1. […] recently started reading, Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel ( link to my related blog post – https://felipeadanlerma.com/2021/10/26/october-25-2021-ive-been-reading-and-its-triggered-a-realizat… ) and the issue of women artists’ struggle, Joan Mitchel’s life and work being one of a […]

    Liked by 1 person

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