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I have been painting up a storm-my back porch studio looks like a bomb dropped on it. There is Stuff everywhere....I am in the throws of really learning how to paint. Exciting.  The fulfillment of a dream I've had for years...paint and I have,  for many years, had a love/hate sort of relationship.  I just didn't know what to do with the colors-they seemed like such a beautiful distraction.  I could draw anything I wanted to, but adding in that elusive color really had me tied in some twisty, twisty knots. There are some very valid reasons for this-I will spare you-it's not really the subject of my post, and could be considered too much information..

My bottom line, heart of the matter problem?  I was trying to analyze color, rather than feel it.  I was trying to use logic rather than my intuition.  I am a deeply intuitive person, so why in the world shouldn't I be intuitive about color too?  Go figure.

Anyway, I love the season of art life that I'm in. I plow through all the Other Stuff I have to get done in a day, so I can go and paint-this is the sweetest of sweet gifts.  I stay up too late at night painting and I often forget what time it is, and do not hear the phone ring (who cares about the phone anyway).  Watercolor has been the great Knot Un-tyer.  I can make the transition from the pencil (b/w)  to the paint (color) so much easier with watercolor than I can with oil.  Watercolor is cheaper to work with too...something to consider especially when in the throes of learning something new.  When I was struggling with trying to work in oil, I used to paint the sky in a landscape and then cringe and realize I had probably just put down $3 worth of paint.....one of the many reasons watercolor works for me-cost effectiveness!

Working with the human face and form has always deeply and completely compelled me. Remember the old album covers, with the big faces of the artists on the front?  I started drawing from album covers when I was 14.  I still have John Denver's and Jim Croce's faces stashed away somewhere-did all four of the Beatles as well. In art school, the only thing I really enjoyed was figure drawing-I was good at it, in a way that really surprised me.  One of the only art school regrets I have (quit after a year) was that I could not continue to study figure drawing.  Other than that, art school was a bust....

So here I am, in my 50's, finally getting something I have long sought after figured out. I guess the time is just right....I have this thing inside me that says I can do this...I know I can, even if often times I don't know how I am going to get there.  It would be swell if I could work with someone who Really Knew What They Were Doing, when it comes to painting humans-the money faeries have to come for that to happen....Until then, I have just me. I am enough.  The capacity to be the painter I know I can be is inside me.  That's what I have to keep discovering-what's in me.  Good instruction is fabulous, but it can't take the place of believing what's inside you....wish I learned this lesson a long, long time ago!

The painting above is entitled "Momma and Cullen".  It's of two people who are utterly precious to me.  Suffice it to say, what I had envisioned the painting to look like, and how it came out are very different things.  In the late hours of the night, the painting was almost launched out into the wind several times. The painting gremlins were squacking..."who do you think you are?"  "You can't paint that, you don't know what you are doing.."  "You'll never figure that out-the colors look terrible".  "Why don't you just give up and go paint something easy, that you know how to do, FOOL!"  On and on. Decided not to listen.  Gremlins are those pesky little creeps that want to keep us from realizing our wonderful human potential.  Stomp on the little shits and put them in their place! 

I am glad I stuck with this painting. I learned so much in the process....painting correct skin tones and color harmonies is not easy, but as I kept at it, I learned where the colors needed to go, and what happened when this color was put next to that color.  The painting is by no means perfect, but I am proud of it, because I stuck with it, and will save it to remember what I learned and how good it felt to tell the gremlins to shove off.  After I recover, I'm going to give the subject matter another whirl, and see if I can get things to come out the way I want them to!

Not everyone is a painter-but we are all a Special Somebody, with beautiful gifts to give the world.  Don't let the gremlins have the last word. Be sticky!  Work through the roadblocks that get in the way of your passion, and you'll find your way to the other side of incredible possibility-it does not always have to feel good-the air in my studio has been known to be blue with profanity from time to time...the important thing is to keep going and see what can be learned-Very Satisfying!  A painter's life (or any one else) is a journey, not a guided tour. It does not have to be easy to be really, really good.

Be blessed today-the weather is glorious, and there is a fresh piece of watercolor paper with my name on it in my studio, and a little niece I have been wanting to paint for the longest time....

 


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