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Photograph of a painting in progress

New mid-size piece in progress

It’s been super hard for me to do things with my arms this year, which is one reason I’ve had a hard time painting. The other, is that I’m still working on how to create the right setup for painting in my bedroom. The two issues are related, and there are some other logistical and spacial challenges to solve as well. Oh, and I still have moderate/severe ME and POTS. So, you know, moving and thinking is often hard.

BUT! I’ve had a few moments of inspiration over the last few days. And, in a surprising and delightful twist, it has involved a 24×24″ cradle board – something closer to a comfort size for me. I’ve spent the last two years working smaller and smaller, and it’s really challenging for me. Big has always been in my bones. And it feels good. This is a mid-size painting for me.

I like texture and direct painting. This is a combination of Blick heavy body, Golden Fluid, Golden High Flo acrylics, and a weird semi-fluid blend I made from a heavy body acrylic with a number of mediums. They’ve been applied with brush, brayer, palette knife, and directly from the bottle (Li like to draw with nozzles and with the droppers from ink bottles).

I was able to work on a board flat on my bed, a top a plastic drop cloth and a puppy pad. It worked out well except that when I needed to rest, I had a large painting in the middle of my bed. And there was a bit too much interest from Marigold Dog. But I think I may have finally figured out what my next step of iteration is. Stay tuned!

Painting in progress

Painting Again – at least for now

Painting in progress
[Image Description: A photograph of a painting in progress on top of a white table, with pens and a bottle of paint. The painting is abstract on a wood panel, with a blue background, pencil, ink and paint marks in green, magenta, great and black.]
I don’t normally post the same things here that I do on Instagram, but today’s post feels important. It feels important, because it’s the first time in quite a while that I’m making progress on actually painting. Perhaps I’ll tell the story here more in another post, but suffice it to say I’ve been too ill to paint, and am starting a new experiment in adaptation.

A thing is happening with my little studio on wheels. The experiment of painting in bed is off and running, and I’m making adjustments. So far, I haven’t gone looking for any tools or materials that I hadn’t already identified and collected from my studio. Not true. I realized that I had to figure something out about lighting, and I brought one of my studio lamps in.

What I am trying to figure out next is how to make postural adaptations. I was able to do pencil, pen, and paint marker work partially recumbent. They nature of my work with paint, however, needs to be worked flat. Or at least, I’m habituated to working that way with the kinds of gesture and mark-making I’ve been developing over the last few years. Maybe I’ll keep doing it. Maybe something else will evolve.

For now, what matters is that there is making.

In Search of Sleep, with Bob Ross

Sleep stories, which are a cross between Books on Tape and bedtime stories, are the ideal vehicle for Ross’s style of meditative art instruction.

I too listened to the Bob Ross sleep story on Calm (which I use daily to support my meditation practice). It was sort of lovely. But honestly, I’d never really thought that much about his voice, and it has been amusing to me to hear how many people were taken with it.

This is more of what fascinated me about Bob Ross:

“The magic of Ross’s show was that he essentially skipped over the really hard part of realistic painting: translating the actual world into a flat image on a canvas. That process can be incredibly frustrating and nearly impossible. The fun of painting by formula is that it turns painting into a project requiring only persistence and a steady hand, offering the reward of an expected final product rather than an adventure that may come to naught.”


Source: In Search of Sleep, with Bob Ross

Rebecca Weger's home painting sudio. Her painting table, with a couple of in-process paintings, and a collection o fpaints, inks, mediums and brushes.

Studio peek: Behind the scenes

Rebecca Weger's home painting sudio. Her painting table, with a couple of in-process paintings, and a collection o fpaints, inks, mediums and brushes.
Rebecca Weger’s Painting Studio
Ithaca, NY, US

This is where the magic happens. I’m lucky enough to work from a home studio. A layer can go down while breakfast is in the oven, and be dry for the next to lay down before lunch. I have big sheets of painted plywood covered over with clear plastic sheeting resting on top of my grandmother’s porcelain-top table. I have easels too, but I tend to work flat for almost everything that is 12×12″ or smaller. The paints, inks and mediums I use most often live on my table. The ones I use less frequently are tucked away in the #elfa drawers in the corner.

Working from home gives me a lot of flexibility and more time to work than I would have if commuting was part of my day. It means I can do as much or as little as works for me on any given day, and gives me a chance to be inspired while passing by. It also means more time with #marigolddog and #sadiecat .

I’m primarily an intuitive painter, so part of my work is about really showing up. I need to be present with the painting so that I can tune into the flow of color, balance, contrast, texture, movement, space, and density. Which means I have to be present with myself too. My regular meditation practice helps me clear my mind and develop focus. Writing helps me sort myself out, discover approaches and new connections between ideas. Paying attention to my body helps me manage my energy and make choices that best support my health.

I try to document my work for my own benefit, and so I can share. I take photographs as layers are laid down. And I document my choices in my art journal. And I believe it is a good thing to show your work.