Friday, March 20, 2015

First Painting Epiphany

In my last post I told you about healing, getting my creativity back, and my resolve to reclaim my personal creative voice this year.

In the middle of February I had a lunch meet with an old work friend. She quit not long after I did. As we chatted about where we were both at I told her about how I had struggled to spend time in my studio and that I hadn't made a finished, ready for the wall, work of art in YEARS.

That conversation must have shook something loose because that night, as I was falling asleep, I suddenly had an epiphany. A painting I needed to do. I went to sleep resolved to locate all my painting stuff in the morning.

When I woke the next morning I was fearful. I was afraid that I couldn't do it, that I wouldn't be able to translate what I saw in my mind to the canvas. I had failed so many times before that it was not an unreasonable fear. I sent up an urgent prayer, "Please let me have this one."

I went down to my studio and pulled out my portable easel, a watercolor board I've had for years, gesso from my art journaling tote, the jar of brushes, and went upstairs to the kitchen and sunshine. I opened up the easel, mounted the watercolor board, and gessoed it with a couple of coats.

While that dried, I pulled out the oil paints. I couldn't open any of them with my hands, but they still seemed soft in the tubes, so I visited the garage and used a pliers to tease all but one of them open. The one that wouldn't ended in the trash. It wasn't worth worrying about. I had momentum and needed to maintain it.

I couldn't locate the solvent and so I sat down at my computer and located images in my photo files that would help me with my painting, 2 photos my Dad took in the early 1970s and one I took in 2009. They were images of the valley where we lived from the time I was 6 to when I was 10. Four years that I call home.

As soon as the board was dry I sketched the image I wanted onto the gessoed surface. It's an image of something I spent a lot of time looking at. It's what you see if you stand at the edge of the yard of our old house, looking out into the valley. You can see for hundreds of miles of rolling hills on a clear day. The main road into the valley is on the right. Today it's paved but when we lived there it was just the native red dirt. In the center of the valley is the airstrip and I have put the single prop engine airplane at the far end of it, about to land. The road and the airstrip represent the two main forms of transportation out of the valley.

After I got done sketching I took up the hunt for the solvent again, finding it. So I quickly roughed in the image with color.

So far it seems that I'm going to be allowed to have this painting.