Using a grid to build your process

Everything [in Abstract Expressionist painting] seemed to hinge on a certain kind of facility and a certain kind of virtuoso performance. But no painting ever got made without a process...”
— Chuck Close, artist

I was inspired this morning to experiment with drawing on a grid (like Chuck Close).  I thought it would make the drawing easier.  So, I printed out a photograph and drew a grid.


Then, to make it harder (I don't know why I do this to myself), I used colored pens to draw the picture - 



Using the grid actually helped me fine tune some facial shapes and distances.  But it didn't alleviate the stress.  Then, I thought going more abstract like Chuck Close would be less stressful.  So I drew another grid and started filling it in with colored circles -


Oh, my goodness, this is so hard.  It's not like I didn't already know that, but I just like to prove it to myself.  I don't think I have the patience to finish this.  On the bright side, it does make sewing a shirt seem much much easier.

And it makes me realize that everything we are building in life can be viewed as a grid.  We build our life with tiny grid pieces made out of each moment.  We can only create each individual moment as it happens, but each moment needs to fit together with all of the other pieces in order to make sense as a whole. When you view it from afar, what picture is it creating?  And are we expecting a beautiful picture without spending enough time on each individual piece of the grid?  It takes a stinkin' long time to make a whole picture!

If you are not familiar with Chuck Close, here is one of his paintings that I saw at The Metropolitan Museum in New York - 


This painting stretches from the ceiling to the floor.  Now, that's a long term project.