Here we go again


I can paint: birds, people, landscapes, abstract marks, and animals with acrylic, ink, watercolor, and pens over canvas, paper, wood, and cloth in weeks, gradually over months, in hours, or in minutes.  I can paint in silence, to the noise of rain, in a sunny room, outside, or while in conversation with others.  I can paint while: bored, happy, sad, and excited, in a rush, taking my time, at night, or during the day, and for myself, a show, or someone else.  Once the process of painting becomes a chore or once I no longer enjoy working on a specific piece, I lose the butterflies.  I lose the love…and I can’t easily get that back.


A few weeks ago, I began a series of 2 acrylic paintings for my upcoming exhibit at Shelburne Farms.  I primed the canvases with Gesso, I painted 3 coats on each of black chalkboard paint, and I named the pieces.  (I named the works because I had to submit my inventory sheet to Shelburne Farms a few weeks ago.)  I rarely sketch a piece, hardly plan for a piece, and never name a piece prior to beginning my painting.  Perhaps I locked myself into idealistic images, which rendered each name.  Because, I’ve since spent the past couple of weeks pouring on layer after layer, brush stroke after brush stroke, and medium after medium.  I’ve devoted tired evenings, bright and sunny weekend afternoons, and numerous minutes trying to “force” myself into “fixing” the pieces.


I am stubborn.  Yet, I never settle.  Why be disappointed in my own work?  I can’t allow myself to be frustrated at the canvas.  And while I enjoy the stress of a deadline (clearly) and the unexpected unknowns of spontaneous creations, I simply cannot proceed to designate time, materials, money, and energy into a chicken and rooster, whom I was beginning to loathe.


Sometimes the only way to finish a work of art is to begin anew.  Re-gesso primer, new base layers, same concept, new style, and the freedom to breath again…with a smile.  Hello, 1 week deadline for 2 “re-newed” pieces.  I’d much rather be challenged with little time and with the new creation of 2 pieces than with the act of resurrecting a disaster.  It’s like a haircut- if you have crazy frizzy hair, there is really no disguising that, no matter how good the hairdresser or how fancy the product.



And just today I decided to change the chicken/rooster idea all together.  Of course, Sienna…


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