Saturday, 27 July 2013

Solstice 2013 Eases Into Hot Summer and A New Emergence

I saw a photo of a T-shirt on Pinterest and it made me chuckle. It reads "I'm Busy. Read My Blog."
My own version would read "I'm busy. I forgot my blog". For five months!! Well, I didn't forget it entirely as it rose up into the back of my mind from time to time as a quiet guilt-ridden anxious urge, reminding me that I had left so much undone and time was swallowing up the chance to recount anything. In these moments of distant intention, I fell deeper into into the blue funk of avoidance, convinced there was nothing to post as I was suffering the worst creative block ever. Winter, long and arduous, brought on various justifications to procrastinate..... fatigue, laziness, shifting priorities, my unpredictable on call schedule at the library, periods of near starvation, K's accident and discovery of his spinal stenosis followed by his two surgeries to prevent paralysis, stress over the stepkids, discovering the garden as a haven... too much indulgence in earthly stimulations and distractions. The undone promised story of Suzanne Valadon hung over me like an unfinished university paper would have once done. The conviction that nobody cares padded my apathy. Reading my posts and wishing my sense of humor was more apparent, my writing more spontaneous and less studied....yeah, all that and more. Depression. 

And then of course just as I was nearing the hope of picking up again where I left off, I discovered Pinterest, perhaps the current day's most time-sucking online vacuum ever. I felt I needed to "collect" ideas for inspiration, build boards such as Palettes for Painting and (as if) My Art Among Others, as well as my current favorite collection, Art That Breaks Through. I was on a constant hunt for ideas, colours, styles, that spark of artistic ignition. You can get an idea of how far I wandered into this visual abyss when you see I racked up 65 themed boards, straying slowly from art to imagined closets and flea market finds to gardening perfection. K looked on with mild disappointment, dropping guilt trips such as "You could have started half a canvas during the time you've been on there pinning". He was right. About 3000 plus pins into the addiction, I began to admit I was becoming oversaturated with ideas, hooked by the endless search for that elusive better high.

Meanwhile I started a few more paintings...started...and didn't finish...started another...and didn't finish. Still bogged down by my bad habit of wanting to treat each canvas as if it was my only chance EVER to create a winning piece of art, according to the intricate and rigid plan I had in mind. Too uptight to just try and fly off a who-cares-what one day creation.

Ugh...plans. OK so I've had it with that. I'm grabbing canvases now and I refuse to be anal, to sit pondering the blank white elephant forever ....and I'm just diving in. I'm going to select a palette, and that will be my only premeditation. Then its bombs away. I want to actually finish a painting in one day or one sitting. I'm dropping oils except to finish what I've started, and taking up acrylics again for that fast finish.

Let's see if I'm worth watching or not.

Here is at last the finished painting of my Sudanese voters. I titled it "Voice", and dedicated it to my loving K whose idea it was:

"VOICE" ~ Ranza Clark ~ Acrylic on Canvas 20" x 16"

It was a fun time painting it....I started out without any adherence to factual references, aside from the faded digital photo K gave me. I became more interested in reading about the election and the people I was depicting, but I still relied on my imagination to take control, rather than adhere to authentic renditions of the setting, accuracy of physical racial features, or indigenous attire.  My voters remained true though, they knew who they were and why they were there. It came out in their expressions. Each person in the line...there are five...(one almost invisible, the partially hidden tall man)...became a crucial presence, the "Voice" belonging, one after another, to each of them in their own single vote. In the real world, this election of 2011 saw South Sudan vote resoundingly for their secession from the north.. If you wish to read more about this recent piece of history, well, here at  Human Rights Watch is a start, and another good summary here. Of course there is still a long way to go. When I think of the absolutely pitiful voter turnouts in Canada, a country so rich in resources, a country that influences so much of what occurs in countries abroad as well, I look into the eyes of these Sudanese voters...and they tell me how important a responsibility this is. In my painting I see a diversity of circumstances, choices, and fates, each figure owning a determined comment on personal beliefs, self sufficiency, individuality and dignity. 

Oh and technique...I used acrylics. I decided to outline the figures I know not why. At first I wanted to attempt realism in lighting, but not being adept enough, I fell into a style that to me resembles almost comic book illustration...yes, there I go yet again, illustrating rather than painting. Argh. 
Anyway, enough analysis, there it is. I have to sign it still, undecided on side or front. It's a regular shallow canvas, so bottom right front I think. We are hanging it on our pumpkin coloured bedroom wall in the cabin, but of course, it is for sale. 

And me, I am back in the blog world.I 'll be posting more frequently again (well,more often than every five months,anyway) even digging up and finishing some old posts sitting in draft. Summer is here and I have gone all artsy in my garden, building a maze and adding three dimensional art forms using wood, clay, dead branches, stones etc....well, you'll see the pics soon. It's a little bit heavenly I think!!

Thanks if you've read any of this. I am grateful.   
Love, Raonasa! xo


  1. Yes, I too can attest to the time disappearing whilst seeking the next awesome pic, image bit of information on Pinterest. Must follow you now...Thanks for your blog when ever you are inspired to write Ranza...

  2. I found you! And love your paintings. And your writing. Here's to a busy, creative, love-filled time ahead for you.