Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Finished with Summer

When is a painting finished?

Sometimes a piece is finished by the necessity of a deadline, which can actually be a very useful. Lacking that, the question becomes more open ended. I've worked on this piece at various times, off and on. I considered it close to finished and sat it aside for months. I worked on other things and eventually came back and gave it more attention. I finally feel comfortable with calling it finished.

For a long time alien menagerie was a stack of pencil sketches and notes. I worked on and accumulated them for years without moving forward with them as paintings. Commercial work always took precedence, but slowly I've been finding ways to make more time for these pieces. I designed this guy a few years ago, while participating in an online design forum. It was a way to push my sketches and ideas for alien menagerie into a more fully realized form by making a digital painting weekly. The moderator of the forum had a thing about plants not being eligible as a source for creature design, so I took that as something to challenge in and of itself! I was quite fond of the result and knew I'd come back to eventually.

When I'm organizing ideas, I tend to think in terms of a thematic series. Lots of lists live among my sketches. This creature fit nicely into a series of four pieces on the theme of seasons. 春夏秋冬。This is summer.

Spring would be the logical place to start, but I didn't.

Winter is in progress.

This won't be a daily blog. Writing for me is a long process of write, erase, and write again, so I'm not a terribly efficient or confident wordsmith. That being said, I hope this becomes a useful avenue where I can express some of the thinking behind the pictures I make, and perhaps give a little insight into just what the heck I'm doing.

Finishing summer seems like a good place to start. September is a good time for starting something new.