This little croton beauty was my last painting of 2015. I was considering doing the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge for January, but this painting helped me to decide against it.
Doing a painting every day means you have to work fast – which is a good exercise for so many reasons – but at this time I just couldn’t get myself to jump on that hamster wheel.
For 2016, I want to take better care of myself. That means getting more sleep, eating better, exercising more etc. It means not stressing myself out unnecessarily. Having more time to spend with my family, and friends.
This painting holds a special meaning for me – similar to the adage “stop and smell the roses”. It reminds me of a larger croton painting I did a few years ago, “Exuberance”. I spent almost 2 months on that painting – the longest I have ever spent on one image. The longer I painted, the closer I looked at my reference photos, and the more details I added to the painting.
Then one day I realized something. I realized that in the midst of all of the colourful leaves, there was the occasional stem covered in tiny white flowers, like little starbursts. I had seen the stems with the buds before, but for some reason I never noticed the flowers.
Growing up in the Caribbean, there were croton bushes of all sorts surrounding us. Striking, and yet common place. But it was only when I slowed down, I could really see what was in front of me the whole time.
That is what I want for 2016. To be able to slow down, and appreciate the beauty already in my life.
How about you, what are your hopes for the new year?