Yes, in the studio, making what I call 'gateway' paintings. These will lead to other paintings and who knows where we'll end up?
In this process, I move back and forth between more and less abstracted images. When I get stuck or feel too loosey-goosey, I put something down in front of me (here, the amaryllis) and paint it. This direct painting from life, from objects, is a way to ground myself, a means and not an end. Last year, I did this for an extended period, just to get back to wielding a brush. I spent only three hours on each of those paintings and set them aside, unfinished, before moving on to the next one. It was a great exercise for me.
These are unfinished, too, but I will work most of them to completion. And then put them aside. After a couple of months, I'll see where I am.
These paintings are speaking to me, though I don't know yet what they are saying. For now, it doesn't matter. The imagery here comes from emotion and intuition.
I'm supported in this slow, intuitive working method by the ideas I found in the book Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind by Guy Claxton.
Here are some excerpts:
The mind, too, works at different speeds. Some of its functions are performed at lightening speed; others take... days or even years to complete their course.
...there is another mental register that proceeds more slowly still. It is often less purposeful and clear-cut, more playful, leisurely, or dreamy. In this mode we are ruminating... .being contemplative or meditative. These leisurely, apparently aimless ways of knowing and experiencing are just as 'intelligent' as the other, faster ones.
We need the tortoise mind as much as we need the hare brain.
I'm going to Austin, Texas next week for a lithography workshop and a few days later to Rome, to visit one of my daughters. I'll share here the work, sketches and prints, from those two experiences; they'll be much more hare-brained than my studio work.