April 28, 2022 – Sometimes It’s Great To Come Across Another Artist’s Thoughts On Art When Worrying ’bout My Own, #Monet

2nd lay-in, "Seeing" - April 2022 ©Felipe Adan Lerma
2nd lay-in, “Seeing” – April 2022 ©Felipe Adan Lerma

Update May 04, 2022 – name changed to Eyes of the Universe

I like to read biographies of artists – Joan Mitchell Lady Painter, Helen Frankenthaler Fierce Pose, Monet – not so much for techniques any more, but for how they thought creatively. What they struggled with, what excited them and meant something dear to them.

Further down I’ve posted a tweet via a Twitter friend who quoted Monet, and used one of my rare “ala Monet” paintings to illustrate the quote.

More immediately below is a side by side comparison of my 1st lay-in and my most recent, 2nd lay-in.

I mostly widened the white space round the left side blue/red/white “eye” – which let me “see” how the white space in the left side stretched canvas not only fit within the whole, and how that left side works with the more complete ( in its effect anyway ) right side.

But mostly, and this I swear is true – I did not see the figure-like white formation as a figure ( even seems to have a fishing pole! ) until I’d added the white padding top and bottom round the blue/red on the left side. I just didn’t! 🤷‍♂️ 😊

I did also add more nuancing on top & within the dark areas, esp the left side panel, and strengthened some pale streaking-like lines, but I also mostly made it too busy, particularly on the bottom 1/3 of the left panel.

Thus I took a break and came across this saved tweet in my Twitter TweetDeck —

Girl with Umbrella, ala Monet


And that’s exactly how dissatisfied I felt seeing the day’s work on my new diptych…

I don’t know whether it’s because it’s the different size stretched canvases from most my other multi-panel works ( polyptychs ) giving me learning-curve grief, or ’cause I’m simply too darn tired. Maybe both.

22 by 28 inch stretched canvases I’ve done a few singularly, but this is my 1st attempt joining two into a finished diptych. Plus Sheila and I are hitting a stride with our live online SilverSneakers fitness classes, going from 1 or 2 – 15 minute sets when we began a few months back, to a handful or more some days ( strength, stretching, cardio etc ), plus walks.

Either way, I do have more confidence, even if not total confidence, that, whether the next day, or “a” day, however many days or weeks from now, that I will know what I want to do with it next.

Even if it’s the nuclear option, ie, cover it with another newer work.

But I don’t see that happening.

The “eyes” and whatever it is they’re “seeing” – as in the title, are too compelling to do that, to cover the whole thing. The surrounding area, above below beside the eyes is my challenge, for now anyways ☺️

“Seeking the impossible” says, Monet.

And when the creative floodgates are open, we are definitely powerless to stop the flood. But it’s an enriching flood, bringing us unforeseen nutrients and possibilities. It does seem impossible, how it would ever work out. But we know, we know from experience, something will take root. Something new or beautiful or both will burst forth from the flood’s churning waters and newly mixed soil. And we can feel a temporary peace when at last we fix at least one of life’s possibilities onto canvas, creating movement and life with colors and shapes and lines, and for one tiny moment, frozen in paint, we feel the miracle of eternity….

Stay well everyone! ❤️ 😊


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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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