Saturday, June 30, 2012

Excuse Me While I Whip This Out

Front Door Freedom
12" X 9"
Acrylic on Canvas

So, earlier in the week I was whining about how the last painting had grown cold and how difficult it was to finish because I wasn't in love with it anymore—blah blah, blah—the usual artist angst. Well, this new painting flew together like an instant cake mix. I started it one evening and finished it the next. Whoosh! 

It happened so fast that I'm still in love with it and adoring every loose, lively, and colorful brush stroke on the canvas. Every time I walk past it, I smile because I held the mood I wanted through completion. Sometimes the fast ones are the most satisfying.

I think my success was partially due to the thrill of starting something new after the last piece dragged itself wheezing to a finish. It was as though I'd finally chewed through a tether, breaking free into a new adventure of light and color. Another reason this painting was only 12" X 9", so there was less ground to cover, so to speak.

When we drove through New Mexico, we made a side trip out to a trading post. Yes, a real trading post. It was something out of an old western: dusty and jammed with an odd assortment of old and new. An ancient wood burning stove greeting us at the door, sullenly smoking. Around the perimeter, shelves lined with cans of spam, soup, beans, a couple bags of potatoes. A small freezer held a meager assortment of meat.

A side room held huge piles of intricate rugs in every size and color, woven by local Navaho women. Although intriguing, it felt like a very sad place to me. I wasn’t there long enough to know the intricacies of life there, but it oozed conflict; like two fists pounding against each other every day, each unhappy and sore from the impact.

Outside, looking out over the vibrant landscape, it didn't feel that way. It felt open and vast and free.

No comments: