Later: Posing Rigs
Being a geek, I’ve always liked the word 'metric.’ A metric is a number or other quantitative object (physicists like 'metric tensors’) which measures something.
I have three paintings drying right now (i.e., too wet to work into without screwing up areas). A thought occurred to me as I was thinking about what to work on next, that the number of drying paintings could be a metric of how artistically busy you happen to be at the moment. Call that number of drying paintings the 'D-number.’ If I start working on another, it would make a 'D-number’ of four. A moderately busy period, by my standards.
I wonder what my highest D-number has been. Seven? Surely not ten.
I like working on lots of pieces at once. When you get bored or stuck, just pick up another. It’s especially nice if your paintings take a long time to finish, because you might be in the wrong mood for one particular painting, but in the right mood for another. If you glaze a lot, you have to wait for layers to dry (I don’t use resins because of the fumes), which artificially inflates your D-number.
Other painters just pick up a panel and don’t touch anything else until it’s done. Their D-numbers are always equal to one (that is, if they paint in oils — acrylic painting makes your D-number usually zero, due to the quick drying times).
Then there is the U-number — the number of paintings which are unfinished, kicking around the studio, that you hope to get around to sometime. Mine’s probably about 15 or 20. A recent goal of mine is to make U=0, though probably that’s a fool’s hope.
Finally, there is the I-number, which counts the paintings you plan to do next, or sometime soon, or in a future lifetime. As Van Gogh quoted to Emile Bernard, “the most beautiful pictures are those one dreams about when smoking pipes in bed, but which one will never paint.” I like to keep my I-number as high as possible — it means I’m feeling especially inspired.
Later: Posing Rigs