OK, so the actual day to begin to paint for the season has arrived. I’m going to take notes of each step, and photos, as I take the plunge, but first there was one thing I had to do before getting here:
Go through all my materials to see what I have and what I need. Buy supplies.
P-DAY (as in PAINT day, get it?)
Repair the easels as much as is possible. It’s kind of cool that I’ve worn out so many easels in 14 years I can’t remember a number. I think this should be one of your goals: Paint SO MUCH that your easel breaks. Yeah! I think the next bit of wisdom is that I finally need to pay the big bucks and spring for a very high quality easel. That’ll be something to be proud of when I can break one of those!
Pull out a blank canvas I’m inspired to work with. Choose a couple completed paintings or incomplete pieces I want to paint over. (This is critical. Never take yourself so seriously that you can’t paint over something you’ve done. I’ve plastered over pieces that have hung in galleries).
Put on music. Get past the uneasiness. Get GOING!
START! Base coat the first old piece. Revel in the absolute pure and simple bliss of putting brush to canvas. I was BORN for this! I’d forgotten how deeply satisfying it is. How do I ever do anything else? Follow the inspiration to draw lines with a pencil. Hmm, cool. Made me think of sacred geometry. Do the second one. I’m sort of on fire now! Plaster the big piece.
Acknowledge everything is going to have to dry for 24 hours before I can add layers. Bummer. But I knew this going in. It’s why I work in multiples. After today, something will always be dry and ready to work on.
Know, as happy and fired up as I am now, it’ll be just as hard to get into the studio again next time. Why is that?
Take Kelee for a walk on the Llano. Honor the wisdom that it takes more than time at the easel to make a painting. This walk on a gray winter’s afternoon, being with the horses, breathing, listening, a coyote’s song bringing us home: It is part of painting, too—allowing the space for inspiration to be born and to germinate. Never let anyone guilt you into believing that making art is all about grueling, disciplined hours at the easel or the idea of having to put a certain amount of “work” time in if you’re a “serious” artist—or that a painting must take weeks and weeks to make to be valuable. Art requires soul, and play and beauty. Find yours. Do whatever it takes to express your vision.
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