Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In The Canyon and Twyla Tharp

In The Canyon
image size 12" x 16" matted to 16" x 20"-available
It's important to point out that this piece, which I feel is successful, is painted over the previous piece which was not so successful. Goes to show you.

I based this idea on the photos that I took at Big Chico Creek a couple of weeks ago while we were on vacation. The original photos were closeups of the creek where it meets the bank. The creek area that we experienced was both small and large. I mean to say that the space was both intimate and expansive. My subsequent interpretation is of an entire scene, both near and far. I added my own idea of the bluffs of the canyon beyond the creek. 

Each time I draw or paint this area, I get a different idea of what to do. I am hoping that it is leading to some clarity since a lack of a coherent final image was one of the things that tripped me up with the first try. Sort of like writing I guess where you do several drafts and then finally decide on the one way to say something.

In other news, I want to recommend a book that I just finished reading. It's written by Twyla Tharp and is titled The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life. Now, prior to reading this book I couldn't have picked this woman out of a lineup. I was just looking for some help. I hadn't realized that she is very accomplished and driven.  So, I am listening. The book is a good read with chapters broken down into small chunks representing parts of the creative process. At the end of each chapter she presents some ideas for exercises that the reader can do. The exercises are meant to get you thinking and to get you going. Her examples of overcoming creative issues are both personal and also include other peoples' experiences. The woman knows some heavy hitters. The upshot for this book is that if you are looking to be coddled or held gently somehow, forget it. Her tone is kind enough but firm. Perhaps a blend of tough love and a mild kick in the rear end.  

OK, thanks for reading and commenting. Hope everyone is having a good week.


  1. I agree. Her book is excellent! I should probably read it again.

  2. Love this painting! I read her book and kept things in "boxes" for awhile!


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