Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's not easy being green

It would be nice to be the kind of unselfconscious artist who plows ahead with confidence and bravado and just paints. Anywhere. Anytime.

But that's not me. Yet. I need familiar objects and materials and that comfort zone that led to the last successful painting. No rabbit's foot required but having all the stars aligned helps!

New adventures are a wishful fantasy. Actually embarking on the adventure? Well, that needs work. Lots of WORK.

A great opportunity presented itself recently when we went to "the islands" for a wedding. All that warm sunlight, ivory sand, turquoise water... and the green-freakin-tropical @#$% foliage!  (excuse my french, green is greek to me)

I was having a terrible time getting situated. Too much sand, wind, people or crazy-giant-green-plants. But I knew I would be completely pissed at myself if I didn't figure out how to do SOMEthing outside of my safe studio.

So I employed a reliable old motivator: GUILT!
Of course I would feel guilty if I didn't at least TRY ("just TRY the asparagus..."). But that wasn't motivation enough because it would only be for my own good.

I had to get creative here. Guilt on behalf of someone else - that would work!

Technically, I had my sh*t together as a traveling painter. Just needed way to get wet oil paintings home (and obviously the guts to get started!) Graciously, my painting teacher Todd Casey offered to lend me his awesome wet panel carrier. It's a hand-made, compact, light wood box with his own logo branded on it... so it was a pretty big deal to borrow.

More important than being functional, it provided just the motivation needed. After all, how UNgrateful would I be if I took his prized possession out of the country and then never bothered to use it! Todd would KILL me!!! (I may be exaggerating a bit here but hey, if that's what it takes...)

So I set up on the balcony (thereby eliminating sand, wind and people) and only had to deal with the green: lots of green. I actually did two small paintings! They are not exactly wonderful so I'm not posting them. But that's OK.

I feel pretty good about overcoming my personal obstacles and finally sticking my toe in the water, from the balcony if not the beach.  

Next time will be easier.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" says Lao-Tzu.
I do believe that I need more practice vacationing with oils!


  1. I LOVE the beach, and loved Hawaii, but I agree on all the green, it's not my favorite type of landscape. I enjoy visiting it, and it's pretty, but I love the desert where I live, and would much rather paint a desert than a jungle. I am sure whatever you paint from there, though, will be cool.

  2. Cindy, Oh, it's a huge shift from the desert to tropical! We left home covered with snow so I guess it was a pretty big green shock for me too! But I'm determined to tackle it!
    Thanks for your kind comments!


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