Aquarius Moon is an Asshole + Finished But Not September 18, 2016 15:59

I spoke to a friend yesterday about my issues with images popping into my head in the middle of a planned painting and how I didn't know how to react to such things. I want to master traditional landscape painting but at the same time, I wonder if these images that pop into my head are the art I should be doing. I told her about my post-modern vanitas series now put aside. She knows about astrology and is familiar with my chart, and she immediately said that the images that popped into my head were due to my Aquarius-situated Moon. Aquarius like to be a contradictory asshole, and that's what was happening. It makes perfect sense! :)

She encouraged me to try my surrealist vanitas series and also had a good recommendation for dealing with weird images that pop up in the middle of a painting: that I make note of the image(s) and that I tell myself that those images are to be treated at a later time. Then I could go ahead and finish the painting I'd planned. I think this is a great idea, and I last night went and made notes of the images that had popped up and was able to continue working on my landscape painting.

Landscape painting Moss on Rocks work in progress, Harold Roth, 2016I finished the painting today--at least, I finished what I had intended to paint. But I don't like it much. The glazes I used to change the rocks from yellow to red to brown were too many and made the rocks really too dark to distinguish except under bright light. I then used an overglaze of perylene green + zinc + glazing fluid for the reflection of the sky on the water, but I should have thinned it a lot more than I did, because it obscured even more of the rocks. Then I didn't like how the wavelets looked. I know it will be different with an isolation coat on, which will intensify and deepen the colors, but that did not seem like enough. All that wavelet space needs something in it. If I don't put something in it or modify the painting in some significant way, I will just paint over it because I'm dissatisfied with it. So I figured modifying it was a better choice.

I like how the moss images look, very stylized, reminding me of 19th-century natural science illustrations, so I'm going to continue with that shape. What I'm envisioning is a bit fantastical, and that will be a first in terms of my landscapes. I said to my friend yesterday that I did not think my painting was good enough yet to do surrealist work, but I will give it a try here, since I consider I have nothing to lose with this image.

Addendum: I finished that painting, which became the somewhat odd "Nymph and Her Children." This was my first real step into surrealism, if I can call it that. Since then, I have set off boldly in the surrealist direction, because for one thing, it allows me to combine my enjoyment in painting landscapes with my weird side that enjoys symbols and emblems and mysteriousness.