I am inspired to paint all the time. I have so many ideas sometimes it results in paralysis because I cannot choose just one idea and run with it. When I set out to paint this piece, I was convinced that I was inspired by an owl I saw near our campground the other night. I wanted the painting to express, in an abstract way, the night sky, the white owl, and the power line he using as a perch.
I started by adding my new favorite paint color, Payne’s Gray, to the outside of the canvas. I then added a bright blue, a medium blue, and teal, leaving space in the middle for the blob of white that would represent the owl. The power line would come much later.
My strokes were circular, and the process of laying them down on the canvas felt natural and somewhat relaxing. I was even giving the paint time to dry before I added more color, which is something I strive to have patience for. My unusual ability to be patient made me feel quite proud.
At the same time I was painting, my son, Dawson, who was visiting for a few days, was painting alongside me. Between my strokes, I helped him with his painting as he set out to craft a scene that reminded him of his Savannah experience.
When he was done with his painting, I had all the background completed on mine and was fairly happy. At this stage in any painting, I am not happy, nor am I unhappy. Rather, I just am. It’s a weird place, and some artists call it the messy middle. I don’t know what I call it but I’m sure I will have a name for it sooner than later.
Later that day, we took Dawson to the airport, and I went back to my painting. It was time to add the white in the middle for the owl. I took a step back, looked at my painting, and was not moved in a positive way. It just wasn’t working. Hmm, now what?
The other day, I purchased a new huge brush from the Blick store here in Savannah. I must say, it was the most amazing Blick store I have been in, and I could have spent so much time there. I proceeded to blend the white, gray, and blue in a circular motion, creating a vortex of sorts. I felt myself getting lost in the circular motion and began to reflect on Dawson heading back to Denver.
I felt like there was a hole in my heart. It had been less than an hour, and I already missed him. The one thing I do not like about my RV adventure is being away from Dawson. Even though we see him about four times a year, it’s not the same as living close to him.
I continued with the circular painting as I increased the size and depth of the vortex/hole. I stopped and took a step or two back. There it was on the canvas: the hole in my heart.
I knew I didn’t want this painting to be solely about the hole in my heart, though. During our visit, Dawson chatted about a recent breakup he was going through, and that entered my mind as I stared at my not-finished-yet painting. That’s when I thought about the chaos of love. Love can be amazing, and love can be pain, and nearly everything in between.
I grabbed a palette knife and started adding strokes of color throughout the canvas with the intention of leaving the hole/vortex barely visible but still there. The strokes represented pain, hope, confusion, and even order. Well, at least in my mind, they did.
When I was done, I was happy. Chaos, with some bit of order, the hole, it was all there. I basically expressed my heart and mind on the canvas.
Now, what to paint next? Something Savannah inspired, I assume.