After completing my first painting for today I played outside for a while and visited with some friends. When I came back to look at my earlier work (something I do several times a day - staring at the birds and bunnies with a glazed over expression on my face) I realized I wasn't at all happy with the composition. Isn't it funny how a little time and distance will change your perspective on things?
My second attempt at the glass bunny proved a bit more challenging and the result feels less luminous. I think this is due in part to the use of incandescent lighting as opposed to natural light. I look forward to exploring the glass bunny further as I'm sure my perspective on the situation will continue to shift.
Today we have a new bunny friend. This one came from Marion, a woman who likely had the greatest influence on my character. If I remember correctly, she is the reason I started to go to art lessons in the second grade.
I think that most artists would agree that glass is a challenging subject to paint. Capturing the transparent and reflective qualities can be akin to trying to shovel sand in the wind.
I like a challenge. I like to work hard and I like to tackle things in life that are not easy. I don't always choose the challenges I take on wisely - some days I am unbelievably stupid and get sand blown in my face.
Today was not one of those days. I feel like this is a successful experiment with glass as a subject -though maybe not the best compositional exercise. I feel I captured both the solidity of the glass and the transparency at the same time. It feels heavy and grounded as well as luminous and delicate - in my opinion. Maybe you disagree? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts on this challenging subject.
Just when you think you might be able to move forward, to survive, to get out of the shadow... you run into another car and desperately need the comfort of the thing you need to move away from, the thing that is causing all the shadows, the thing that is draining your life. After the crash, all anyone wants to know is if you are hurt. Initial response, no, I'm not hurt. Then time passes and all you feel is hurt and all you want is comfort and as you paint your damn wrist starts to ache and you know, yeah, I'm hurt.
This figurine has a hole in its butt. No clue why or what it's purpose is.
I'm starting to like the bunny. Change isn't instant but it might grow on me. An old friend suggested I think about writing the letters "ttt" somewhere to remind me that "things take time".
I've been like the rabbit - running, running, running. Feeling like I'm late all the time. Perhaps I need to think about that urgency and rest a little...
I went to work today.
I didn't cry today.
I saw some light today - not a glowing, shadowless light, but some light creeping in to remind me that I have no reason to be afraid...
I feel sadness for people who allow fear to rule their lives, who allow fear to hold them back from happiness. I'm not afraid. I'll live a meaningful life with family and friends who I will never ignore.
I feel sadness for the shadow that won't let all the light in.
I'd like to stop painting this bird... I don't know if I can though, it won't leave me alone. I wish someone would come along and shatter the thing so I could stop. Everything else is shattered, this should be too. Unfortunately, the tiny piece of rational thought left inside my head thinks this bird might be worth something and my mom would be hurt if I broke it (especially if I did so on purpose).
I've been painting to fulfill a quota for the CSA but also to try to fill an empty space that's inside my heart. I've met the quota but still feel empty. Every memory is fluttering through my head and my heart physically aches. I just keep painting these pointless little birds. When I look at them I feel like they are parts of my soul that have left me forever. They hurt. I hurt.
When I began this series I had no intention of keeping any of the little birds. The idea of becoming emotionally attached to a still life painting was not on my radar. The longer I live with these paintings, the stronger my bond to them grows. I keep pulling more and declaring them "mine"... Clearly, I have a "whole brush full" of these guys and can reproduce them at will, but the urge to hold on to some is still too much to resist. I'm now keeping 9, tossing 2, and unhappily allowing 27 to fly away from my nest.
After meeting with Lauren and Andrew last week, the guys behind the Trenton CSA, I took a little break from my frenzied painting therapy. I guess it was more of a big break, as I went to San Diego for four days and gave my brain, my heart (and my lungs) some time to heal. The sun and the companionship of my dear friend, Meranda, did me good, but as with everything in life, the shadows always creep back in. I'm back home now, back to work both in my studio and at school. The shadow hasn't left, and as this naturally lit composition proved to me, it's hard to pin down where exactly it's coming from.
During my undergraduate studies, I spent a great deal of time in the painting studio working with traditional oils. Teaching middle school art for the past 12 years has taken me away from those roots. This "one a day" project is aimed at re-inspiring that creativity and technique.
Other "one a day" painting blogs to check out:
Kellie Marian Hill
The usual Subjects