Work in Progress
What I love most about “Work in Progress” is the promise of what something might be. It isn’t really anything yet, it’s just trying to get there. Work in progress is something along the evolutionary path to somewhere. A promise to be amazing. A promise to inspire, motivate or entertain the viewer.
When I start a painting I have a plan. Something in my mind that wants to find a way out onto the page. This is true for all of my work, drawings, paintings or digital art. I have to see it first before I can make it. But that’s where it ends. The knowing what you want to do and the final outcome can vary greatly depending on mood, time and skill even. Many times I’ve started down one road and turned hard left to another path. A drawing that started as one cyclist on a bike in a landscape becomes a cityscape with a small group. I can’t tell you why.
So much for planning.
But I think that’s the interesting part of the process of discovery. I have a plan and I’m okay with changing it along the way. Obviously if I’m working for a client it gets more difficult to follow my whims, after all I’m a professional. And I follow through, or I call them and say I’ve got a better idea — really now, who doesn’t want to hear a better idea. Works every time.
Fear no canvas.
When I start a new drawing or painting I am fearless, filled with hope and energy to get my idea out on the page. There is a pull to create something. Pen and ink drawings happen quickly for me so there is no overthinking, no backing out of an idea or making changes. It’s one and done, like or leave it. It’s just paper and ink.
But canvas or hardboard have always been a challenge because they’re more of a commitment. A much larger investment of time. For years this caused me fear and I thought way too much about the work trying to make it look like a painting, or what I thought a painting should look like.
At the end of the day my best work has always had the same fluid, spontaneous feeling of my ink drawings. A quality of not thinking too much, of going with the flow. It’s what I aim for but don’t always achieve. But since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, none of this really matters if someone else likes my work. If you’ve never thought about it, this is why so many artist are always pushing forward, unhappy with their work, its the process of discovery that is the driving force. Not the final painting or drawing.
The promise of what’s after the next brush stroke, the next turn in the road; not unlike the wandering bike rider looking for the perfect ride – i t’s all a work in progress.