Saturday, July 03, 2010

White Rectangles

Artist's are sometimes confronted with a hesitancy to put brush to canvas. Where to start? How will this color I'm choosing work with all the colors to come? Are the proportions correct? Am I to be true to what I see, or should I entertain a more emotional approach to my subject? A blank canvas, and that first decision may determine the entire course of the work. There is a clever trick around the blank canvas if you are working in oils or acrylics. Just paint a film of color on the whole thing. Top to bottom, side to side. Maybe all a warm color, which does nifty things when you add blue overlays later. Just put something on there. The rest seems so much easier once you've made a start.
Writing can present similar challenges. That blank piece of paper and so many words to organize. I have discovered that I own no white, lined paper. (That's why there is a picture of an enormous piece of white, lined, notebook paper that I made for a bulletin board at 'A's elementary school, way back when...) Yet, whenever I start to write an article, I start on paper. It's yellow, lined paper! Maybe having the color on there helps! I imagine nowadays that professional writers write mainly on a computer. No professional here! Unprofessionally, I compile pages and pages of handwritten notes that become pages and pages of a handwritten article. Nothing gets to my computer until I'm close to the final draft. Then I'll sit at the keyboard and type it all in. I print it out to read and reread, making minor changes and correcting typos with a real pen. I then go back and transfer my corrections to the computer copy. A very time consuming and roundabout way to write, I suppose, but I have no deadlines. And I like paper. A simple fact. I want to shuffle it around, make notes in margins, and big circles with arrows to move words around.
My most daunting white rectangle, at present, is my whiteboard in the workshop. May and June were mighty nice. No huge overloads, but a full schedule. I just erased all that and started my July - August board. Looks pretty slim right now. July is historically my busiest shop work month. I hope after this holiday weekend, things pick up. Mighty empty view right now.

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