|photographed at 8 pm in low light|
— Flannery O'Connor
I'm fairly certain that a great many people think that the path of art is one big play day after another, slinging paint around, letting the lighting bolt of good fortune strike and flow through your soul to your fingertips so that images might manifest themselves as if by magic. It's not that way for me. Making art is a spiritual path that operates on the faith that I can face a blank piece of wood and turn it into an original work of art. Like faith, creative work can ebb and flow when the physical reality of painting and my own skill limitations intersect and crash into the idealized vision of what I want the work to be.
Yesterday ended badly for me and I went to bed discouraged. I knew I would not submit the painting as it was to the show. But when I woke up this morning I went right into the studio and began again with faith that on this last chance day that my problems would be resolved. Here is what happened today:
changed the background to blue and made sure there were tonal variations in the color (you really cant see it that well in this photo -but its not a solid color)
worked on the peacock body so Flannery's hands would show better.
painted new water where the tail used to be
worked on the cone of grace
erased the tail, changed its position and repainted the feathers.
changed the silver lining to a golden lining.
It is finished. I will photograph it tomorrow for the show application. If I make it in, the show is in October and I can tweak it a bit before then. I feel pretty good about the piece, it looks professional, the surface is lovely and it's size makes it impressive. I am very glad I tried something out of my comfort zone. I usually avoid painting people like the plague and I rarely paint an image as large as this. In my illustration background, most of the work was painted to be reproduced in a book so it was always quite small - like 11 x 14. But I like the power of big - its more impressive and there is no getting around that. By the way, the reason I painted large is to get on the wall with the good lighting. (if i get in, that is)
It's the only space in the show venue that can accommodate this size. Next I am going to paint Harper Lee with mockingbirds flying all around her in crazy flight positions.
yesterday -vs- today:
Thanks to everyone for joining me through this series, for your support and great suggestions and comments. xo Chickory