Going Old School

New Year resolution number three: Post blog earlier. I have promised this on a number of occasions, but it just never seems to happen. I let too many other things to get in the way. Today I took care of some very important things, but then I made time, daylight time, for art. The result? Probably one of the best things I’ve done in a while, and I did it “old school”. By that I mean in a continuation of the last few days of painting without thinking too much about it, or obsessing over whether what I am doing is “wrong” or “right”, I just painted. Think of it like a small child. Children have no in-habitations. No one has told them yet that they have to be deadly serious all the time, or not find joy in the silly things. I was like that when I began to paint all those years ago. Without someone to tell me I was wrong, I painted for the sheer joy of it. It was only when I did try to take art in college that I was told I didn’t know what I was doing. It’s why I switched majors. I lost the freedom of expression that came in those early days. I became hung up on the rights and wrongs, the lack of art lessons, and in general my self-esteem, which while not great in everyday life, was stellar compared to my artistic self-confidence. I am three-quarters of the way through this year-long project, and it is without a doubt one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I am feeling confident in my work, and have lost the chip that occupied my shoulder for far too long. Today I truly went old school. I sat on the floor and painted. It’s how I began painting, sitting on an attic floor in our Chicago Bungalow, not enough light streaming through the window, but it was my space to paint, and that made me happy. I have two standing easels. One is large and heavy, Dan bought it for me at an antique store years ago. It was downstairs in our home, and I didn’t want Dan to go to the trouble of  bringing it up. The other broke earlier today. It fell over several times yesterday. I kept knocking it over as I cleaned. This afternoon I grabbed my palette, paints, brushes and water (I was painting in acrylic), and sat on the floor, my canvas leaning against a bookcase. I turned on my music and painted just as I did when I was a teen. Two and a half hours flew by. I was happy and content. I think it shows in the work. The painting is of a tree I have often admired when down at the shore in La Jolla. I was there one evening as the sun was setting and snapped a few photos. I’ve often thought of painting one of the photos. I love the color, and hope I have done it justice.12 28


A Wonderful Day

I had a wonderful day today. We decided to head out for a hike in Torrey Pines State Reserve this morning. It is in La Jolla, California, near San Diego. The trails run alongside the Pacific, and it is spectacular. Very inspiring to say the least. I took more than two hundred photos.  I thought about painting one of them, but I have been anxious to get back to the portrait of Jessica. I am still working on blocking in and building color. As I have mentioned before I feel like my work lacks texture, appearing very flat. The last few paintings I’ve done are better. I want to do the same with this one. I also want to take my time and build it slowly. I was pleased with the progress that I made today.  Although I did find myself adding too much paint and muddying it in the process. I have again put the painting aside for a few days. I am also working on my patience. In the past I would have rushed to finish this painting. I’m not really sure about how, or why I do that. To do the kind of work I want to do I need to learn to slow down and take my time with it.

I also did a little watercolor of a lemon, really for no other reason than I felt so inspired by our morning. I find walking so relaxing, and doing so in such a beautiful place left me feeling stress free and more than happy to get back to painting. Now if I could only live right there…5 30 5 30 2 (1) 5 30 2 (2)