In the face of adversity, I continue on with my self induction into the journey through 30 paintings "from life" in way more than 30 days. Today is the last day of February, the sun is shining and Victoria shows off to the rest of Canada with her spring blossoms everywhere. If it was this weather yesterday, I would have made it out with the Al Frescoe's, maybe. But yesterday was cold and rainy, so I slept.
Here is Number 26, another set up in my real life. I knew when I set this one up that I would be better to use a larger canvas than 11x14, but the next clean fresh canvas in a larger size would have been 24x30, and that was toooooo big, no "just right size" to work on. Lots of old ones to cover up with another painting, but I was in the mood for a fresh start, not covering up.
I'm looking at this photo and feeling really "over it" instead of a sense of pride of success. It wasn't that bad an experience to paint these objects that I love, but it wasn't a joyous one either. I think perhaps I am feeling tired with this non-stop venture of only working from life. I may need a change of pace soon to work on a landscape with the help of a photograph source. I may need to work only outdoors now, too, since my eyes have gotten accustomed to "seeing" properly again. When I compare a photo of these objects to what they look like in real life, I can see how much gets lost in the translation. This challenge has put me back into a world of seeing what I have been missing out on. My push out of my old ways has been a good lesson in drawing AND understanding what I am trying to paint. I know that pattern on that plate as well as my face now. I didn't reproduce it perfectly, but I know it. I know it well enough to know I don't think I want to reproduce it perfectly.
I am wondering, again, where I will end up with this art adventure I am committed to. I don't mean the fun 30/30 thing, I mean in the giant canvas of life, where will I end up? I know time is effecting what and how I paint. I know life alters how I view my purpose as an artist. Looking back, I see how small that box of creativity was when I thought I had to be as good as my fellow artists to feel a sense of success. I don't see that anymore. I was never supposed to be "as good as" anyone other than myself. I really am only competing with myself. I am only as good as my last painting... well, maybe not that depressing a thought. But really, my own authentic artist inside of me has nothing to do with who other artists are.
The influence of internet certainly has an effect on my artist's ego as well. We are living in a different world now. I am of the world who recalls our first television and phonographs, to the world of internet today. As I sit and type relatively mindlessly here, I know how big an influence the internet has been on my brain. To think of kids never knowing a world of thinking without internet is beyond my understanding, can't imagine that one. I still live in a world of thinking a computer is a novelty, not a necessity. I suppose if it blew up right now, it would be necessary for me to get another one so I could expound mindlessly again, true. But I do have the wisdom to know that both worlds were, and can be quite wonderful. This is a part of why I paint, a search for my own authenticity, and nothing leads me into all kinds of self reflection better than this novelty keyboard. Without that added push to post in Facebook, I would have likely piled up a few efforts of painting from life until my resisting side told me to give it up and start something else. I never was much good at self discipline, I get distracted easily. So, that too has been a big part of this challenge, don't give up.
I don't know what will happen after I finish Number 30 from life. I haven't decided what will be in Number 27, either, but I know it will be from life. Gerry and I are into our 60s now, I know life will change slightly, God willing to keep us here first, but life will change. Routines will change, perhaps retirement, Gerry's I mean, I don't intend to retire. But his retirement will have an impact on my life. I know he wants me to paint, so that's good, but not the most important thing. I have a feeling my ambition is less, but my need to find my authentic artist still calls me.
It doesn't matter what others think of what I paint, it has to come from me.
This is not to say supportive sharing of thoughts with fellow artists isn't valuable and important, it is. But it can't be the ruling force. I wasted too many years trying to measure up to someone else's opinion on what I should be doing. That's not just in art, either. When we are learning and uncertain of our own purpose, we allow way too many influences to guide us. This is why I stopped art clubs, I felt restricted. I don't blame others for that, it was my own insecurity that restricted me into believing everyone else was right and I was wrong. Coming to the understanding that I have only myself to listen to was the most important understanding I'd ever understand, only took me 61 years to figure that one out. Classes were a different category of time spent. Classes are valuable, I chose to go to them to learn, and I have.
No doubt, tho, this art thing is a giant roller coaster. Some days, I can't stop painting or even thinking about it. Today I am coasting without the giant thrilling climbs and drops, and I'm tired. Number 27 better be a bit perkier for me, maybe I need to seek out a new vase to give me some giddy-up, or maybe tomorrow will just be one of those UP days.
Whatever Number 27 will be, it will be.... next...