Breaking out of a painting rut sometimes requires a little
more oomph than just adding another color to your palette or going from a still
life to a figure painting. Sometimes your whole process needs an overhaul. A
few years ago, artist Francis Di Fronzo took a fairly drastic measure to take
his work to a new level. He set aside the traditional painting brush for a tool
of his own invention-a "comb" with individual hairs seated along a length of
Artists aren’t superheroes. No capes, no spandex onesies, and no
butlers named Alfred. Artists don’t necessarily lead extraordinary
lives in which they paint or draw between bouts of saving the world.
Artists are like you and me. They are you and me, actually. We
all go about our day-to-day lives and amidst the daily to-dos and
stressors we try to recognize inspiration when it hits, and then we try
to find enough time to actually do something about it.
After developing an unnatural dependency on my galoshes and stocking my
kitchen shelves with an outrageous amount of sugary sweets in case of
snowstorms, I’ve come to realize that it is nice to be on the inside,
cozy and warm, looking out. My creature comforts appreciation has
definitely also influenced the kind of painting composition that I’ve
been into lately: the interior.
As much as the stereotype of the solitary painter working alone and
shutting him- or herself off from the world makes artists seem
mysterious and cool, I’ve found that artists tend to be fairly social
creatures, and their cool factor isn’t lessened by their sense of
community. Sometimes this is situational—you are in a painting or
drawing workshop or class, and you swap stories and commiserate and
encourage your fellow students because you are working through the same
issues and assignments.
Painting outdoors in winter can be an extreme sport. The snow, the
wind, the cold—it takes a certain kind of artist to paint a winter
landscape while in a winter landscape. The first time I
attempted this was a couple of years ago when I was living in
Connecticut. Two feet of snow had fallen the day before, but when I
looked out my window the scene was so inviting. I didn’t go far and
didn’t stay out long, but I had fun trying to capture the light effects
and reflective surface of the snow during daylight.