July 24, 2013

On bravery and dogs

There are two things you should know.

1. I have this fear that someday I'll wake up with regret for the things I wasn't brave enough to try. 

And that would cause me such a deep sadness. I look at some artists and think how brave they are to do what they do, seemingly unencumbered by a fear of man. I look at their work and wonder what it would take for me to do work that personal, honest, and revealing. Which impulses should I listen to and which should I ignore? What areas of my life am I lacking courage? What paintings am I avoiding because of my own insecurities?

2. I have this intrigue with dogs.

When I was little I used to watch 101 Dalmations like it was my job. Every scene stuck in my mind like a picture. Still to this day my favorite all-time Disney scene is the intro to that movie when Pongo is looking out the window at all the different people walking their dogs on the street below. You'd be surprised how often I still think about that scene.

There's this girl in my neighborhood who walks these two big Welsh Terriers down the sidewalk in front of my kitchen window almost every day. They're so big they nearly drag her along.
Sometimes just for fun I look up different dog breeds online. Then pin them to this board or doodle them into my sketchbook. I find myself daydreaming about the secret lives of dogs. Weird. I know. I'm not obsessed like some people...just intrigued.

* * *

So, I've gathered my courage and am going to try something I've been wanting to try for a long time: two great big oil paintings of dogs. They'll hang above our couch for now and add more color and life to our rather neutral living room. I want them to be big and bold and fresh and to make a statement. I want them to be funny and clever and modern.

And I have no idea how they're going to turn out. So sharing all of this is a bit intimidating.

I wanted you to know because I want to be braver and pass this courage along, even if it seems silly.
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