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Climbing Hills

My post from last night was pretty short, and I was right I was playing it safe, but life really does get in the way.  Looking back I’m surprised I actually got anything done. We did go hiking yesterday, we hiked for three hours, and climbed to a height of more than twelve hundred feet. I believe I’ve mentioned my bad knees before, I’ve had five surgeries on one knee, and one surgery on the other, I also have a bad Achilles tendon, and scar tissue in my back and neck from a car accident. I’m not talking about this for reasons of sympathy. I’m of the “is what it is” ilk, but the truth is there isn’t a pain-free day in my life. That can really get in the way of creativity. I was really exhausted last night but still managed to turn out a halfway decent piece of art. I think the writing was actually the harder part last night. I really bring up the injuries because as hard as it was to hike up that hillside yesterday, and even more excruciating coming back down (no ACL (alias anterior cruciate ligament) can be torture) but I did it. When Dan checked with me on both the way up and the way down to see if I was doing OK, I said “I’m not going to give in to this.” I thought about that today. I was in real pain yesterday, we’re talking a ten out of ten here, but I am already planning our next hike. I refuse to sit down and let my bad knees, bad ankle and so on get the best of me. So why can’t I have that same attitude with my art? Step after step hurt, but I never gave up, I never said stop, and that’s what I need to do here. Some of the paths were a little more steep than others, some were more rocky, and on the way down more than a few were a little slippery. That is how I need to approach art. Push through the emotional pain, push through the insecurities, refuse to give in.  So today with my tired, aching and creaky bones I made the decision to really look for a project that I am not comfortable with, a painting of a full figure. I’ve never painted a full figure, or even drawn one for that matter. My husband has generously volunteered to pose for me to do some free form figure sketching, but I have yet to take him up on it. I’m diving right in to a 24×48 oil painting.  My subject is my beautiful daughter from a photo that I took. There is a movie called Big Fish that came out several years ago. I saw a still photo from that movie of a girl standing in a blue dress that I just loved. My daughter has a blue vintage dress, so a few years back I asked her to pose in the dress. My intention at the time was of course to paint the photo. Of course that was back in the years of lots of intention for art but no actual work. I looked for that photo today and found it. I sketched it out on the canvas and blocked in a little color for the background. My intention is to have her standing before a blue sky and in a field of grass, and possibly adding a spot of bright color in the form of a flower somewhere.  I won’t show the photo yet as I have not yet spoken to my daughter to gain her permission. I will post the painting as it stands right now. One other little note about my work. I love instant gratification in my work, oil obviously does not allow for that. I usually end up frustrated because I’ve muddied my colors. Not this time. What you see tonight is all that will be done for now. I won’t be working on it again until I can touch the background in a couple of days. I will work on some other things as I wait, maybe even work with my in-house model.Jessica painting (4)

Jessica painting (3)

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