We had friends coming for dinner tonight, which we know of course means that I need to clean my house within an inch of its life. It also meant that I needed to get a piece of art finished before they came. As always I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I have more than a few pieces that need to be finished, including the biggest hurdle, the portrait of Jessica. It has been sitting on my larger easel in the garden, I just need to bring it in and get to work. I have to admit that I have been avoiding it. I haven’t been hearing the “not good enough” voice in my head lately, but there is something about that portrait that allows it to creep into my mind. There is nothing that forces my hand like a promise, I am one of those people who always do what they say, so here goes…I will work on that portrait tomorrow, that will be what I post tomorrow night. That’s it, now I have to do it. Well, now that I committed myself….back to tonight’s saga. I decided to paint in oils, grabbed a photo from my computer, one I had taken in Giverny of a house and garden. I started to paint and it just wasn’t working. Normally this would be where I gave up, I didn’t. I took some paper towel and wiped the canvas clean, but as I looked at the smeared colors I felt inspired. I began playing with the color and building on what was there, after a bit it began to look like water to me, and since my head was still in Giverny I decided to add waterlilies. I was really pleased with my results, not that it’s the greatest painting I’ve ever done, but I love that I just dove in and did it. I need to keep that healthy attitude with me tomorrow when I climb the hurdle of the portrait of Jessica. Actually, I need to carry that with me every time I paint. One of my complaints to Dan over the years was that I couldn’t get what was in my head on the canvas. There was also my need to depend on photographs, mine or others to paint from. Tonight it was all me, no photo, just inspiration from a smear of paint. I’m still having days where I struggle, but more and more I am excited about work yet to come, and hopefully with time it will come easier. And yes, I did a recent blog about the Van Gogh and Monet’s that all artists must attempt, I can honestly say Monet was nowhere near my head when I did this one.