Today I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind. I woke up later than normal since I have the day off work. If you can call 7am late. I fed the puppies, made coffee and my breakfast, and began my day like normal, checking social media and getting my 3 Duolingo lessons in. [I’m working on learning Dutch currently. A lot of my artist friends are Dutch. I want to be Dutch in my next life.]
I shared a post on my FB artist page that Chris Zydel had posted about not feeling guilty for not making art. After I stopped bawling [sseriously ugly cry bawling] went to my studio to do half-ass something with paint. My puppy Vision was under my feet the whole time, so I slowed down instead of the frantic paint flinging I so often get into. That slowing down made me really look and think about my process.
I’ve taken so many workshops. Painting Big with Connie at Dirty Footprint Studios, Visual Quest with Pixie Lighthorse, Bloom True with Flora Bowley. I’d love to take (and a bit scared to) an in person class with Chris. I have a feeling I’d do a lot of [good healing \crying there. Plus a lot of little 2-6 week sketchbook workshops. Art on a smaller scale than the big canvases favored by Connie and Flora. But with all these workshops with various artists, I feel like I’ve never found my own style. I was constantly stuck on the Image portion of Flora’s technique. I’m not overly fond of painting faces or figures.
But oh, mixing colors. Seeing how they blend, and contact, and complement. For me it’s the most incredible experience. I’ve loved painting backgrounds, mixing and smearing, blending and scrubbing. Then I tried to add some images and boom – STUCK. I hate this, this painting sucks, why am I bothering, I suck.
I get the ‘ugly teenage phase’ of a painting, but it seemed I lived there. I would become discouraged, seeing the finish products of friends and think if I just show up, that’s an important thing is seems no matter show shitty my art was, I’d get through it.
So today I showed up. I don’t HAVE to paint images. I can paint the cool or warm backgrounds, and leave it at that. I can paint my feelings with colors and blending, not faces, or pods, or leaves, or feathers. Looking around at other paintings I have, which I’m not fond of, I’m getting ideas of how to rework them, and I’m excited about painting for the first time in months, if not years!
I want to finish one canvas today before I start reworking one with an idea I have. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.