Monday, September 08, 2008

Muse again and shield

I worked a lot y'day on this, little bitty things like changing the pathway to water, adding the manuscript and the hills, coating sky with gold wash, coating whole painting with clear gloss glaze. I love seeing the photo as I can see a couple of corrections. The backpack strap on the viewers left needs to be smaller and placed between her armpit and her chest. Maybe a few other puttery things and then more coats of glaze just to experiment with glaze.

Here is my take, yes she looks young but her hair is white. The houses behind her are all those houses she didn't buy in the past. Now she is headed toward her new home where she will paint and write and read. (Originally I intended her to be walking toward those houses but she turned herself around).

Still working on this shield. I cut some spirals out of bristol board and glued them on, then tore them off leaving a thin layer of paper. I then painted over that with the copper glaze. The shield looked not right to me on the plain copper canvas.

Now I think a darker edge and maybe it is finished.

It could be hung this way. What do you think?

I'm trying to finish various projects started months ago. Do you ever do that? Start an art or writing project and then put it aside and only return months later? Does it nag at you to see the unfinished work sitting there? Or are you okay with letting it simmer in its little nook.

25 comments:

Mary Richmond said...

i love your painting! i often return to unfinished projects--in fact i'm returning to the biggest unfinished project of all right now--my life!

sukipoet said...

Mary, Kate Wolf has a wonderful song called "An Unfinished Life." life is never finished, well, until it is....

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

oh this is wonderful. I do see a tree there tho. even tho now it is water. :)
It has so much meaning here.
Yes I hate having unfinished projects. They tend to weight heavy on my and I cant go forward. I am at that point now. I need to finish my bird painting but I want to do other things and cant seem to go forward so I guess I better finish the painting. :)
Great post and projects.

La journée de Miss Doodle said...

Kim, I love the woman, and that she has turned herself around, and the story of the houses, and her hair and her heading to another, new house, where she will be she:)
And the shield, I love it the way you hang it as a hash( I found that word, don't know if it is suitable), and I like the spirals too, it integrates the shield onto the copper surface!

Your question: I generally feel ok with letting the things sit there, until I get the right impulse and take them and finish them, or declare them finished!:)
love
Andrea

Annie said...

I love the sheild and your muse is coming along nicely. In answer to your question, YES! My book has been sitting around for months. Almost done. I have worked on it a bit here and there in the last month, but I really need to get it done as it nags at me daily :-).
And I have a large painting I have been working on that is screaming at me as well.On the other hand I have completed 5 new small paintings and made many pottery pieces. You can only do so muuch in a day :-).

Kim said...

Hi Suki,

I love your muse...the thing is you just never know what your muse is going to do, right?

And the shield is really wonderful and I do love it on the angle. I also feel as though the spirals make a big difference to the whole thing...good idea.

And I do have projects I have started and don't go back to for a long time. I am one of those people who have to let things simmer...some times I proceed as I began and sometimes I start over with them. I just read an interesting article about daydreaming and letting things "simmer" is a lot like daydreaming, isn't it? I think I will post a link to that on my blog post later today.

Thanks Suki...I adore your contemplations here!

sukipoet said...

Cris, interesting answer. Somehow I guessed that you like to finish things right off, as so many paintings you have shown us you have done so. But then there was that painting of the man on the horse which I think you said you'd begun a long time before and finished much later.

Dear Miss doodle, it's suki here. I know, hard to tell sometimes whose blog you are on!!! I hope for the woman's hair and the moon to both be almost glowing and irridescent after a few more layers of paint perhaps. Thanks for you comments on the shield. "Hash" to me means mixing many small things up to make one, like corned beef hash which is onions, potatoes and corned beef all chopped up together. Maybe there is another meaning though. I'm taking it that you mean hanging it at the angle rather than straight on.

Andrea I could have guessed your answer too as you have mentioned putting things under your bed partly done to simmer under there. You have patience. Bonnard spent years puttering with some of his paintings i have read. Thanks for your wonderful comments.

sukipoet said...

Annie, I definitely think with writing one has to let things simmer. A long project especially cannot be done quickly. I have written a very few short stories in one gulp with little change later. But the majority are long term projects. With artwork however I guess I am impatient for things to be done. even though i know that's not very realistic. Do you think smaller paintings and pots are easier to get finished quickly just by dint of their size? Thanks for your answers.

Kim, that's great. "You never know what a muse is going to do." I love that. maybe that is in the nature of being a muse.

Thanks for the feedback on shield.

Interesting that you let things simmer a good bit. From your blog, somehow it always looks like you complete things quite quickly. I LOVE stuff about daydreaming and wrote a little piece about it once after attending an art colony and talking to people about what part daydreaming held in their lives/art. So would love to hear more about that. Thanks Kim. YOu always stimulate my brian cells.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Hi Suki, The horse and rider took me a couple years to finish because the people lived next door and when she saw it put it down. I wasnt doing it for them either. So I quit painting it and just about quit painting all together. It was getting on blogland that every helped build up my self confidence again.
I will sometimes let a sewing project go and that will drive me crazy. but I do like to finish up a painting before going on to something else. :)

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

opps that EVERYONE helped build me up again.

sukipoet said...

Cris, it's so wonderful your confidence built up again, if it hadn't we would have missed seeing all the beautiful paintings you are now creating. Hurrah for blogland friends and fellow creative spirits.

Britt-Arnhild said...

Oh yes, I have unfinished projects everywhere :-)

I am doing alot of small watercolours for the moment.

sukipoet said...

Britt-arnhild, so wonderful to hear you are doing watercolors. Such fun. Hope we get to see some when you're ready to share. Be well, Suki

San said...

I like the allegorical quality of this painting. It's haunting.

And yes, unfinished artworks do haunt me too. Sometimes I push too hard to finish them when they do need to bask in the corner with the white-haired, young-faced Muse. (Yes, I see the woman in the painting as both Muse and follower of the Muse.)

The shield I like both ways. Perhaps I prefer it in the "regular" orientation, not diagonal. Then again, that square cross is a common icon in these parts and I do find it calming. Maybe that's why I prefer the shield hung in the more traditional way. The options are nice though. Different orientations for different days, different moods.

marianne said...

The muse is magnificent, she is like you.
Love all the symbols in the painting, alot of resemblance with your life......
love the spiral in the shield.
And I like the shield square, don´t know why, will think about that....
And about unfinished things, I don`t really like that. I feel an urge to want to finish what I started. It almost a bit OCD-ish.
Tonight I finished a mandala, gives me a peaceful feeling.
Was very grumpy today and my husband adviced me to go to the art supply store in Rotterdam, as I was going to my parents anyhow.
It was a great idea to get rid of the grumpy feeling. It cost a lot of money though.........
I bought some fabulous things.
can´t wait to start! (and finish of course)
Love your new picture Suki with the new hairdo.
hug >M<

Mim said...

I have learned to treasure the simmer.

sukipoet said...

San, so interesting. The woman as muse and follower of the muse. Thank you for mentioning the allegorical quality of the painting. I hadn't thought of it in a direct way.

I wonder if the desire to have things finished is an aspect of personality, a fear that it will never be finished ? I used to feel that way when I wrote long works like a novel. The task seemed endless sometimes. But doing that does teach you patience because I dont really thing you can force either writing or painting.

San, an interesting point too about the cross orientation being calming. I hadnt really meant it as a cross, that may sound silly. So I was wondering if I should turn it the other way so it wasn't so obviously a cross. But if it is calming to see the cross that might be the way to go. Or I could put hangers on the back to do what you suggest so that it can be turned either way.

Marianne, thank you for your kind words about the muse painting. and the cross. And my photo. Great that you finished your mandala. Sorry you were grumpy but what a sweet husband to suggest an art supply shopping therapy trip. It does give a big lift to get new supplies. I cant wait to see what you do with them. By the way, I made the paintbrushes the muse is holding with long brushhairs like the ones you showed from Saigon. Be well, Suki

Mim, sometimes you are Confucian in your wisdom and brevity. Love that. May I quote you in my sidebar??? I keep meaning to set up a quotes section like Kim has, that'd be a good starter.

Lynn said...

That is so obviously you in the painting Suki, young at heart, with your white hair! And all that writing floating up into the sky!
Are you writing now too?
I like the changes you have made here. Especially the water going over her/your feet.

As for the cross I like it right side up (the original way) best.
The other way looks like a windmill. If you choose to leave it that way you need to move the threads in the middle to hang straight down I think. ;0
I like those spirals very much.

Usually I charge ahead on a project and do it quickly until it is done. I can do more than one at once if it's a quilt and knitting for instance. But lately I am trying to practice "simmering". I have a new challenge with the Around the World in 20 Quilts and my "waiting period" of several days allowed me to find a photo yesterday that shouted out "Try This!" and I think I found my direction. We'll see. If not I'll let it "simmer" some more until a better idea pops up.

soulbrush said...

muse is mucho marvellous, like her shape. i do like the shield sideways. no, i don't have things that are unfinished. i am too impatient so my things get done chop chop, hastily.

sukipoet said...

Lynn, yes, your blog posts do mostly show you beginning and finishing projects with alacrity. Seems to be your rhythm. Thanks for your reflections on the muse. I am not writing now much, I guess that's why I hope the muse might inspire me. Aa for the cross, alas those threads are now "glued" in place as I have painted so many coats of glaze over the painting. NOt sure what to do about the threads. Maybe add more all the way around.

Soulbrush, you and Lynn must have similar rhythms. Nothing unfinished? That's pretty marvelous. All these various answers and patterns are so interesting to me. The different ways people create.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Suki, Great muse!! I like her turning from the past looking to now and forward and her feet in the water which holds it all together. She looks like a guiding force for you. Love the shield too! I have a sitting time with my work...I get it to a certain place of acceptance and then I sit with it...sometimes a short time sometimes long, then I know to continue or be done.
Mary Ann

Honour said...

Oh, I like hearing the explanation of your muse painting! That's exciting that she's just starting her journey.

I also thought I'd put my two cents in, re: orientation of your artwork. I like it straight - when the cross is a cross and not an X. I'm not sure why - I like the clean lines of it that way, I think.

As for simmering --- oh Suki, my whole creative life simmers. It's good that I have this other consulting work. That does not simmer. That gets done, check, check, check. But, I need my creative work to simmer - sometimes I find I almost need to resolve or figure out something personally before I can progress with a creative piece of work.

Interesting questions!

sukipoet said...

Mary Ann, thanks for your comments on my muse and cross. Like you, I may paint different muses for different "questions" at different times. I just decided that. A sitting time. Nice way to put it. It tells you what it needs or if it is done at its own pace and time.

Honor, I know what you mean about the cross and having it straight. It just seems more peaceful that way.

You say sometimes you think you need to figure out something personally before your writing progresses. That's interesting. I often felt though that in the process of writing and now painting that's exactly what I'm doing, figuring out something personally through the actual act of writing say and then changing and revising it. Sometimes it is only later that I see I was really writing about some deep inner issue/and or that I wrote myself into the future. !!! Thanks for your ideas, as always so stimulating.

m. heart said...

i adore the muse painting, suki. i saw a tree there as well, and now water.

between our house renovation projects, garden projects and art projects my house is filled with unfinished things. with art, if i put something down for too long i don't want to go back to it. so i try to only take on art projects that can be finished in a few sittings - that has it's own drawbacks, of course.

sukipoet said...

Thanks M. Heart. I empathize with what you say about art projects. when I put aside an art or writing project for a length of time I often don't want to enter into it again. Esp with a painting, I think I'll mess up what I do have although that is silly as then it will become something else not necessarily something worse. So many interesting thoughts around this topic.