I have two paintings to share for my online art collective's auction that opens up on Friday on Facebook. The theme is "Seasons". I had all sorts of ideas for this one, because I feel that something like seasons is right in my wheelhouse. I sketched out a bunch of ideas... honestly, I ended up having too many ideas, rather than too few, and it actually messed me up. I had this elaborate one with three elephants and on the head of each was different seasonal effects (like snow, flowers, etc) - I actually have the elephants mostly painted, but when it came down to it I just wasn't feeling it and I set it aside to be completed later (and perhaps differently.)
Instead, as I was on an owl streak and that's all I wanted to paint lately, I put these two together:
|"Lilac" 5x7 inches, acrylic on canvas panel, will be available on Friday|
|"Mistle" 5x7 inches, acrylic on canvas panel, will be available on Friday|
Lilac for Spring, and Mistle for my Winter/Yule season. They actually look better in person, my scanner really pics up variances that you just don't see in reality that make it look a bit choppier. I haven't figured out how to adjust that yet (any pointers from people who know? I use an Epson v39 scanner with it's software for 8x10's and under, everything else I have professional photography equipment but I use the scanner because it seems like too much effort to bust out all the stuff for a little painting! I use Lightroom3 or PSE to adjust if needed, but that's the extent of my photoshopping skills, and I'm probably missing most of the stuff I can do with those programs.)
Anyway, I really like how these owls turned out. I met my deadline by getting them done before the show opens (yay!) and now I am working on an old commission (as in, it's been going on for two years...)
My collector is dedicated and lovely. She's been so understanding, but it has been hard to work on this piece. I think the biggest reason is that I just don't paint like this anymore. My collector loves my Alice in Wonderland series, like this piece from 2012:
There is a whole series of paintings, including the cheshire cat, Alice, the Queen of Hearts, etc:
There are lots more, even. Anyway, it's a bigger series, lots in it, and the collector wanted a "Queen Alice". I could already feel my style shifting pretty dramatically, but I felt it would be ok.
Unfortunately, embarrassingly, it has taken me forever to work on. After I finally got it sketched out, it sat for a long time. Life blew up, so that is partly responsible for a lot of the time too. I just didn't paint at all - anything - for months and months. Then, I found I wanted to paint other things and when I tried to work on Queen Alice it would go sideways on me. I just wasn't feeling it.
Because I am all caught up on my other deadlines, I am trying to work on this commission and I am finally feeling it a lot more. It is really hard to paint in a way you don't anymore. Those of you who have evolved your style, have you tried painting like you once did? I feel like my brain and fingers get confused.
Anyway, here is the work in progress as of this morning - it is messy and has a loooooooong way to go, but I am working on it. I spent Friday only on the stack of books. That should have taken very little time, and instead because I'm all upside down and backwards about this, it took ages!
|Queen Alice, Work In Progress|
I'm determined though. My poor collector, I cannot believe she has been so patient with me over this. So, this is my focus right now. I MUST get this one done.
In a lot of ways, it'll be cathartic too. It'll be the final piece that links back to that whole period of my art-life. My art roots (after the abstracts where I really started.) I still do some specific fairytale stuff (and I always will because I love the stories), but it's not my focus anymore. I have new focus, new direction... I just need to do this, and maybe it's really all about closure? Do we need closure on art-periods and phases we go through? Hmm. Well, in either case, it's what I am getting!
Off to paint!