This blog is dedicated to the memory of my life partner of nearly thirty years, Dr. Howard G. Hanson-- artist, writer, musician, and teacher-- who with me celebrated a belief that we can achieve whatever we allow ourselves to imagine. This blog reflects the whole person that our lives together enabled.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Forty-one Strokes Project: Money Plant Study 1

"Money Plant Study, 1"    5" x 7"   Oil on Canvas
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I've been in a creative drought for several weeks now.  I've lost count of how many sub-par paintings have gone in the trash.  Finally, the spring flowers started to bloom.  My backyard is filled with money plants and hostas.   While the hostas' foliage is filling out, the money plants are flooding the ground with their varying hues of purple.  The azalas are in full bloom, my one lady slipper has appeared again and out of dozens of bearded irises, one has blossomed.  In the woods, the dogwoods bloomed weeks early and already gone.

With all this life bursting out around me, I could not break the drought, not until I decided to challenge myself.  I decided to lay out several 5" x 7" formats on unstretched canvas and attempt to capture some studies limiting myself to forty-one strokes.

Today's post is the first of these.  I set up for myself a set of rules:  (1)  A stroke is the duration from when the brush touches the canvas until it lifts, (2) There is no time limit between strokes, (3) Preparation time--i.e. drawing, notan studies and toning--does not count as strokes and there is no time limit to that, either.

Doing this challenge seems to have broken the drought.  As I continue to complete these studies, I will post them and make them available on my Daily Paintworks auction.  And I give myself permission to trash any that don't please me.

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