This is my family room floor right now. It hasn't changed much since last night. Something flipped in me after dinner and I just had to set down what I was doing (the controlled, illustrated bird in the bottom left) and just play.
All these pieces had been started previously in one form or another, and then abandoned for other assignments. I've been working harder than I ever have in my life it seems, at least artist "job" wise, neglecting housekeeping more than ever though, and I can't seem to get out from under the must-do's to the do-whatever-you-want-whenever-you-want-to's and last night I gave myself a much needed hall pass.
This was the first go at putting a bird on a background. The bird was inspired by this one I watercolored the night before:
For better or worse, it's completely gone now, and currently looks like this:
Still not finished. Who knows where it will end up. I wish I could have both versions to be working on right now, I liked that background and that bird might have turned out great with more love, but unfortunately, that's not how it works with paintings.
I've been painting long enough now to sometimes have a good idea where I'm going, like with this one:
or this one:
and this one too:
-Side note: all three of the above are techniques taught in my Painting Petals class and so will first be for sale soon over on the class website. Or join us in class and learn how to paint your own! ;) -
I may be surprised by the colors, or the line quality, or the way the choices I make impact the end result, but how I'm going to get there, the technique, the method, is a reliable thing, so I know how it will generally end up. That's what makes it teachable material I suppose.
But sometimes I abandon a certain technique for another approach and what shows up really surprises me, like this piece in progress:
By the time I stopped last night I was thoroughly delighted and surprised by it. It is just fun and playful and unexpected. This one seems to be going that way too:
A good reminder that play is so important to discovery and growth. It's as important as deadlines and sharing and everything else that goes into being an artist. I preach it endlessly in all my teaching everywhere and I mean it. Permission to play granted for all!
Hope you get some creative time in today and that includes some play just for the freedom of it. Taking the pressure off is the best advice I ever have to share and I need reminding of that myself, even after all these years.