On a gray Saturday morning, I was putting down the first layer of orange paint on the 36×36 canvas in front of me. In my ears was the music of a former American Idol winner. I hadn’t thought of this artist for years, and then a few days earlier, Rich and I were CD shopping at the Salvation Army store (a great place to find old CDs), and he said, “Hey, look at this, it’s David Cook!” The first thing I felt when I heard his words was complete love, not for David Cook, but for this man standing four feet to my left. I returned to reality and said, “Holy cow, I completely forgot about David!” Thankfully, Rich did not.
We had listened to part of David’s CD the night before, and I wanted, no, I needed more. There are some voices that pierce my soul, and Mr. Cook’s is one of them. As I listened to his voice and continued to paint, I felt a freeness I had not felt before when I painted. I had no other explanation for it, so I am calling it “The David Effect.”
My strokes were longer and more raw. My eyes were sharper, my mood was elevated, and I could feel the emotion running down my arm, through my fingers, and onto the canvas. I was in “the painting zone” for the first time, ever.
Oh, this is going to be fun, I thought to myself.
Because I had used a considerable amount of water in laying down my first layer, I had to let it dry before I proceeded. Well, I could have carried on, but I would not achieved the look I was going for. I grabbed my blow dryer and attempted to expedite the drying process.
I soon realized it would take longer than I had the patience for. If anyone out there really does enjoy watching paint dry, please contact me and let me know your secrets.
Then, a brilliant idea popped into my head in between David’s lyrics: start another painting while you are waiting.
Holy cow, yes! I’ve been wanting to do simultaneous paintings for a long time, and now, David is giving me the power to try it.
And off I went to grab another canvas. I carefully moved the first canvas to the floor, unwrapped the second canvas, placed it on my easel, and began to ponder what my color story would be for this new piece.
The color green popped into my head immediately, and I did not question it. I started with a dark green and squeezed the paint directly on the canvas. I took my painting spatula and moved the paint around as I periodically sprayed the canvas with water, giving me more translucence and spread. As with the first painting, my strokes were long, and they definitely felt emotional.
As I watched streaks of water-filled paint drip quickly down my canvas, I had the thought just to leave them there and make them part of the finished piece. Prior to that moment, I was adamantly against drips in a finished painting. I just didn’t like the look of it. But, yet, at that moment, I was perfectly fine with it. It must be “The David Effect.”
I continued with another shade of green and then stood back to take it in. My heart was happy with my progress, but I needed to let it dry yet again, so I switched “greeny” out with “orangy” and started on my second layer.
I added blue to “orangy” and then went back to “greeny” and added translucent yellow. Then, back to “orangy,” where I added darker shades of brown and orange. Back and forth I went, working with paint, stencils, china pencils, and acrylic markers until I was done with both.
Three hours, two paintings, and a very happy Victoria.
“The David Effect” created an exhilarating painting session for me, and I wanted to understand why. Was it really the music, or had something shifted in me? I thought about it for days, and honestly, I have no explanation. But it’s a better story if I credit David for the outcome, right?
A couple of days later, I Googled David Cook to take a closer look at the music I may have missed by forgetting about him for years. And then, there it was, a tour schedule. He’s still touring? Oh, wait, is he coming to Michigan? I looked at the schedule, hoping to see an MI date listed, and I was not disappointed. He is playing in Flint, Michigan, at the end of March. Within minutes, I had two tickets in Row B.
Will seeing David in person take my painting to another level? Probably not, but I will really enjoy his show.