Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fiery, 12 x 16 inches, oil on panel
This painting is available. Email me if you're interested.

You may have noticed that my blogging has become less frequent as of late. I haven't been idle but honestly, I really don't have much to share. I've been working on some larger canvases, and they're coming along slowly. So slowly that a WIP wouldn't show any progress to eyes other than my own. And I really don't like showing unfinished work, unless I can show you the finish also in the same post.

I have done some smaller paintings too, but they're demos or studies and again, I hesitate to show them if I think they have no merit. I don't mind showing failed paintings if I thought they helped me make my point, but lately, I'm not sure what points I want to make.

But anyway, here's one I did today. As usual, I spent about half an hour just sketching with a ball point pen, trying to get a feel for the direction I wanted to take this thing.  As my work becomes more abstract, I find myself asking not how to define anatomical parts, but how to obscure them. Just how much definition is enough? And if I don't define something, what do I do with that area? Random notes seem like a cop out. Randomness, as a concept, is valid, of course. But since that's not my concept, I have to have more of a reason for my notes that don't particularly define some thing. I look for answers in concepts like rhythm, movement, visual noise, balance. 

Sketching is enormously helpful . It helps me pre-solve a lot of the problems before I even put brush to canvas, and that in turn, gives me confidence to do what I need to do. Strokes show a lot more about ourselves than we realize. Confident strokes don't come from a timid brush. But if I don't know what I'm trying to say with my brush, what comes out is indecision and hesitation. Sometimes I can bluff my way through, but it usually catches up to me and I'll have to go back and redo whole passages or even the whole painting. That's not unusual at all.

The drawing is done from a slightly different angle than the painting. That's because I like to sit when I'm drawing, but I like to stand when I'm painting. 

Tomorrow I have to get up early and drive down to the South Bay to do a demo for the Society of Western Artists. This is sort of a preview of my September workshop I'm doing for this organization.  If you're interested, please check out their website for more information.


  1. Hi Terry,

    you may want to check your website/hosting etc because I get following error when clicking one of the links above:
    "Account Error: Missing Locator"

    When I click "website home" I get a window to enter a username and a password.

    Something changed to the path of your files on your host, perhaps?
    In that case you'll have to adjust the paths for each page.

    Anyway, hope you get it fixed.

    Kind regards,

  2. Johan, thanks for the headsup~ I was trying to move my website to a different server and kind of made a mess out of it. It looks like it'll take a little while to sort it out! Just more stuff to do away from the easel!!