I almost called this post “Glutton For Punishment”. Why? Because I was feeling the pressure, self-imposed pressure, but pressure none the less, of painting another watercolor with perspective. As you know last night I was blaming my skewed brain, but the truth is that my perspective has always been awful, and I have simply not done enough to change that. It is oh so easy to fall back on the “woe is me, my parents wouldn’t let me have art lessons”, or there is always blaming “not good enough”, my alter ego that resides in the corners of my mind. Last night I said it, practice, practice, practice, so tonight I followed through. I chose a simple subject. Near my Dad’s house in Northern Illinois there is a subdivision named Prairie Crossings. It was designed to be a self-contained subdivision. Schools, train station, walking paths, but what I love most are the wild grasses, and wild flowers that are allowed to flourish there, and the houses, designed to look like old farm houses. I love just driving by and looking at the houses and fields. Based in part by a photograph and my memories of Prairie Crossings, I painted a simple sketch of two houses set in a field of grasses.
One of my favorite paintings is Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth. I love the feel of that painting. I’ve spoken about my own art speaking to me, in the case of Christina’s World, it is the work of another artist that speaks. I feel a sense of longing, but not belonging when I look at it. It’s a feeling that I’m sure we may all have come across at some point in our lives. Whether it is within the confines of our own family, or within a group of friends, there are times while we “technically” are part of the group, we somehow find ourselves feeling on the outside. It’s a situation I find myself in quite a bit. I really think it has a lot to do with the remnants of my childhood shyness, and that I don’t speak as loud as most. I have a soft voice, and find myself repeating myself quite often, particularly at the deli or fish counter at the grocery store. When I’m in a group, I’m the quiet one, it’s just too much trouble to try to be heard. It’s funny to me how just bringing up that painting inspires all of this. That’s really what I want to achieve with my art, not perfection, but emotion, even if its disbelief at how bad the perspective is.