Mouth #1 by Traci L. Turner, oil on canvas, 2014.

I’ve been planning and making pieces for a solo show that I have coming up in July. Along the way I’ve been learning a lot about how I work and about time management. What’s also been cool yet challenging is having the freedom of a blank slate to build from. This show will be the first time I’ve really had to sit down and consider the statement that I want to make as an artist. As organized as that seems to sound, there’s certainly an element of intuitiveness that’s been emerging as I work on these pieces. The painting above is one of the current pieces I’m working on. It’s giving me pause because I think this painting might be the precipice of a new development for me, artistically. With each new figure I paint I’m finding that my brushwork is getting looser and more impressionistic. This is the exact opposite of what I’ve learned in classes and workshops. There was always an emphasis on tight brushwork and accuracy. When I look at this piece, I can point out at least 2 – 3 “rules” that I’ve broken! And that’s ok. I suppose now that it’s been a long while since I’ve been in a classroom environment, I’m becoming more inclined to do what comes naturally. I’m hoping that this is the mark of more exciting work to come and for me to finally discover that elusive “artistic voice” I’ve been trying to define for years.