So, I’m feeling kind of rebellious lately. It might be the February blues – I don’t know how much more of this d$#% snow and bitterly cold wind I can stand. I’ve already started an informal petition on Facebook to move Canada to somewhere warmer …. but the winter sports enthusiasts & kids are jamming up the works!
Or it could be because this week I had to turn down an opportunity for my art to be included in a book of 50 Canadian painters who paint flowers, because it would cost as much as a non-discounted flight to St. Lucia! A little less than I made in art sales while painting my heart out last month during the 30 in 30 challenge.
It probably does have something to do with hitting a milestone birthday in a few months.
Anyway, the painting I was working on earlier this week turned out to be a very dark landscape, a gloomy reflection of my mood. Technically it has potential, but it just doesn’t feel like me. So last night I took it off the easel. Then at 11pm, when the last kid was asleep, I pulled out a fresh canvas.
While I was reading to my kids, several old themes had mingled with influences from the week, coming together as an image in my mind. Then the image permutated into a possible series. I felt more excitement than I’d felt in weeks, so instead of heading to bed, I returned to the easel. The last time I glanced at the clock it was 3am, and I woke up this morning in my clothes from yesterday – not for the first time this year.
From my bed, I could hear the reaction to the painting … “it’s a fish”, “Mom let her mind go wild last night”. Harrumph! Not what I was going for. Though, when I took another look, there was no denying it looked like a fish, underwater. I was about to make a slight change that would have made it less fish-like, when I realized I liked that added dimension to the painting – the multiplicity of meaning. In fact, for now at least, I’m not even going to go into my own interpretation. I think as I do a few more of these, it’ll become obvious.
Traditionally, an artist goes through the process of developing a series in the safety of their studio, occasionally seeking feedback from those whose opinions they trust. Then when the work is done, they edit out the dead-ends or out-right failures, select the best work to document and then promote through exhibitions or portfolio websites. A blog is a whole other beast.
There is a beauty, and a danger, to making this creative process visible to anyone who chances on to your blog. Ultimately though, I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.