“The Sparkle of Dawn” 36″x 36″ Mixed Media on Canvas
“Her Light Was Radiant” 24″x 36″ Mixed Media on Canvas
“She Never Played It Safe” 16″x 20″ Mixed Media on Canvas
Art and fitness. Those are the two things that I neglected at the end of 2014.
My world got overwhelmingly busy and while I do consider those two things to be very important to me, they both suffered. So here I am, two weeks into the new year and I have jumped head first into both. And I’ll tell you the truth: it kind of sucks.
Art and fitness are very much alike in that it’s very easy to get out of the habit of each of them. And once you’re out of the habit, it’s extremely difficult to get back in. My body is achy and sore and my brain is achy and sore. It’s brutal and sometimes feels so difficult that I begin to doubt myself. Am I too old to get my body back into shape like I used to? Am I unable to make art that I love anymore? How come every time I get halfway through a painting I think “blecccccch!”?
But here’s one thing I do know for sure: nothing worth it is ever easy.
It takes a certain kind of determination to get what you want. And maybe it gets harder to stay in shape as you get older but the good news is I am definitely more in tune with what I want at this age. So I work out and I show up to the easel and I keep pushing because giving up is not an option. It’s just not.
Slowly, but surely, as small as a pin, the light at the end of the tunnel begins to show up. And I feel the certainty of hard work. So I work some more. And even though I know I’ll never be perfect, it’s the process that I care about. It’s the work that I put in that lets me know I’m on the right track. These are the struggles that remind me that I am alive.
Nothing worth it is ever easy.
I get asked all the time about the women I paint. Who are these women? Are they self-portraits?
The answers are: I don’t know exactly who these women are and no they are never meant to be self-portraits. I am just compelled to paint women for some reason, women who are dramatic and emotional and sentimental and expressive. And they always tend to have dark hair and dark eyes.
Hmmmm…. so are they self-portraits? The more I think about it, the more I realize that’s a valid question. As I was working on the painting above, I have to admit, at one point, I felt like I was looking at myself. I didn’t intend to paint a self-portrait but somehow, I started to see myself in the image I was painting. That’s the first time that has ever happened.
I guess when I take a long hard look at how I paint and what I paint, I am forced to admit that I am putting myself on the canvas. I am taking the emotions and thoughts that reside deep in my soul and expressing them visually. In essence, that’s what art is.
So they are not self-portraits in the traditional sense. I am not attempting to paint myself but I AM dipping the brush into my own personal experience. In that way, they are portraits of my thoughts and my stories. I guess I paint what I know.
I think in order to really be in touch with what motivates you artistically, you have to paint what feels true. That’s the only way to have your own artistic vision. It’s not easy to find your vision and I am still always on the search for mine.
So for now, I think of these women I paint as muses, angels, spirit guides. They are leading me to answers and a peaceful heart. I paint them because I have to. Of that reason I am sure.
I have been working so much lately. I have been waking up thinking about painting and going to sleep thinking about painting. I guess you could say my inspiration is on overdrive lately. I have set some really specific intentions for myself when it comes to my art these days. I am determined to develop my style. I have a vision and I’m going to keep working until I reach it.
This is my latest piece. It’s called “Her Eyes Said Yes”. Don’t you think everything you need to know about someone you can see in their eyes? I do too. This painting is filled with longing and possibility. It makes me wonder what she’s saying yes to. Even I’m not sure.
I’m off to paint some more.
Sometimes I fight with a painting. I work and work and work to get it right. And then other times a painting just comes gliding into the world, demanding to be seen.
That was the case with this painting. It flew off the end of my brush, washing through me like a warm tidal wave.
It’s called “Certain Moments She Felt Everything Was Perfect” and it’s 24″x 36″.