I finished my first painting in some time today and boy was there a lot of angst attached! Here’s the story…
So last week I had finished the months of interruptions that kept me from painting and was ready to start fresh. I knew I wanted to start with painting landscapes because I hadn’t done too many during my 365.
I went to the library and amassed my favorites: David Hockney, Milton Avery and a few other books on Fauvist masters.
Next I pulled out ten big blank canvases.
Then I put them back and pulled out ten small 11×14 canvases.
Then I thought maybe I should work out some sketches on 3″x 5″ watercolor paper.
Then I thought well, maybe I should do three samples of each concept and figure out what color scheme I want to work with, then I’ll take the best, paint small 11×14’s acrylic paintings and from there take the best concepts and go to large canvases…
Well, I got two mini water colors into this process before I felt like I never wanted to paint again! I had sucked all the joy and spontaneity right out of my own creative process. Boy I felt absolutely discouraged and all-out bummed.
It took me a day to pull myself together and remind myself I have been dying to paint for the last 4 months! I returned the books to the library. I put all the canvases away. I stopped looking at all the amazing inspiration I had pinned on Pinterest. I put away everything.
Wow. I had gotten myself into such a perfectionist frenzy there was no way anything could come out yet alone create joy.
From there I asked myself “what do I feel like doing?” and the answer came. “I want to play with fast strokes and swirl paint.” OK. “I want bright clean color and I want to be able to add layers if necessary.” OK. “I don’t feel like acrylic at the moment – it makes me too serious. I’m not in a serious mood…” OK. Got it.
IT’S CALLED LISTENING TO YOU INTUITION!!!
As soon as I dumped the preconceived notion of everything my painting needed to be, it allowed space for “me” to be.
I felt a little rusty. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted it to look like or what I wanted where. I did a lot of back n’ forth until I found something I could live with. You know, I guess it’s like the warm up before the run. We’ll call this painting some well needed stretching.
There are quite a few things I’d change in hindsight, but I was happy with where I left it. The color is beautiful. The mood is how I feel this time of year. There’s breeze, sunlight and so much beauty outdoors. This painting is loosely based on a road I drove down in Jamestown. It was quiet, well manicured and I just loved the turn I find myself wondering …where does it lead?
Here is the final painting.
It is gouache on heavy cold press paper 30″ x 30″. I put a bottle and can in the photo at the way top to give you an idea of the size and proportion of the painting.
So the unnerving first painting is out-of-the-way. Hopefully now I can do away with the angst and get back to work!
Ah, it feels good to be back :)