|You're Doing Great, Son! by Tracy Feldman|
Oil on Canvas, 16 x 20"
Thus I decided I needed to simplify and streamline what I would do, buying much of the supplies I needed when there. I decided to work in oils, and go back to realism because I had more confidence that when I returned to the States it would be easier to get a show and sell pieces that reflected in recognizable ways that I had been living in a foreign country. Even so, my foray into abstract had an impact on my painting style.
The painting to the right, You're Doing Great, Son!, is a good example of what I mean. I took the image for this work while on a trip to the west of Galway. The man in the picture was probably the child's grandfather, but I wanted the piece to be part of my padonna series -- a series of paintings celebrating the father/child connection. Thus I kept the basic composition of the work, but happily added hair, and took 25 years off the appearance of the "father" to better convey the connection I wanted to explore in this work.
|Above Barna - by Tracy Feldman. Oil on Canvas. 12 x 36" |
Even in paintings like Above Barna, you can see evidence of a looser paint application and a willingness to simplify images within a representational framework.
When we returned home to Lancaster, I did have a couple of shows featuring these and other works. As when I was in Galway, I decided to keep following an earlier painting teacher's advice to spend some time painting on my own to help myself develop my own artistic voice better. However, I'm a social person whose creative juices flow more when I can interact with other artistic people. Thus after the excitement of getting ready for the show, I found myself procrastinating around painting. I remembered a great program that one of my former painting teachers, Andy Smith, did at the The Village Art Association talking about the daily painting movement. Thus I decided to join an on-line art community called Daily Paintworks, and produced and sold a number of pieces there. However, I realized that needing to produce a small, realistic painting 5 to 7 times a week didn't really fit my life and personality at that time. I found myself not producing quickly enough, and that the pressure to produce in that way was pushing me back into a more literal and generally tighter painting style, and that no longer fit for me.
Thus, last spring I decided to change focus once again, sitting in on another abstract painting class, but this time at Franklin and Marshall College. The teacher, Jun Cheng Liu, a wonderful trompe l'oeil painter whose realistic painting classes I'd sat in on a number of times. Continued Tomorrow ...