Saturday, March 3, 2012

Big Possibilities

With a large 20x30 gray board staring back at me from the easel, I thought it would be a good time to say a few words about my initial approach to bigger pieces. I don’t work in this large format very often, so when I do, it’s pretty exciting. Anything is possible at this point. The potential is both intimidating and exhilarating. For me, the process of producing a large painting is something that needs to be mapped out ahead of time. I have a vision of exactly how I’d like the finished work to look from earlier studies. Then I need a specific plan of attack on how to achieve that goal. It’s important to sniff out potential problems areas ahead of time and have a strategy on how to handle them. This keeps me from getting bogged down (as I often do with larger paintings). It also helps to have a couple of smaller pieces in various stages of completion. That way, I can periodically go back to those smaller works and move them forward. It’s a bit of a head game I work on to stay fresh. I know my mind well enough to realize I rarely work one of these larger paintings straight through to completion without at least a couple of “what the hell am I doing?” and “this will never get done” road blocks. Still, with all the planning and mental gymnastics, some paintings are just hard to get along with and need to be leaned in the corner facing the wall for a week or two! Stay tuned for progress (or lack of progress) reports J


Peter Brown said...

Jim, can you elaborate on the reasons planning and forethought become so vital when you're about to begin work on a large painting? Aren't the challenges the same where your smaller works are concerned?

Jim Bortz said...

Thanks for commenting, Peter. Perhaps this is something I can expand upon in a future post.