October 12, 2012

my misery and joy

The Singer Swan
original oil on canvas 4x5' $3000
The Loon Song
original oil on canvas, 4x5' $3000

Precisely one month, two heavy five foot canvas frames handmade by my husband's contractor friend, a large roll of cotton canvas that barely fit in my car, a dozen tubes of Winton oil paint, five brushes, countless hours, several audio books, at least 3 seasons of Grey's Anatomy, many late nights, several quick trips for more supplies, a crap-load of pins and pictures and youtube videos, about a dozen instagram pics, and one exhausted me half high on paint fumes and lack of sleep later and what do you have (besides a run-on sentence)?  Two life-sized paintings for the gallery that were "effortless, really.  I mean, I could whip those up in my sleep."

Well, here's the truth.  There's a reason I don't typically paint this large.  It's exhausting and thrilling and intimidating and peppered with bouts of frustration and anxiety and sleeplessness and soreness.  I haven't painted this big in...well ever.  Perhaps the reason I wanted to try it might be because I don't ever want my work to be overly predictable.  I tend to fall back into the paintings "I know will work," the sizes I'm comfortable with, the colors I've already determined.

I guess what trying to say is that if you don't occasionally break out of the mold you've created for yourself, launching yourself into the "unknown" where it's scary and cold and new, you just simply won't grow as much.  If there's anything I hate more than doing something that frightens and intimidates me, it's the feeling of complacency, like I'm not challenging myself beyond my capabilities.

So, I tried something I didn't think I could do.  And the very best part about it all is knowing that I can do it and that all the sweat and worry produced confidence and joy and satisfaction that definitely makes it all worth it.  Paul was right after all.

You can read the stories for each piece here and here.
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