Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Post Wolf ...stepping out of the comfort zone

"Post Wolf"
mixed media with layered resin

This is my latest painting.  I know it's probably a little shocking for some of you.  I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone to do this painting.  And I glad I did.  What a way to start the New Year!  I had no idea what this painting would be when I started.  There were no preconceived ideas, colors or compositions.  I simply randomly placed some paint on the watercolor paper and let it develop from there.

It was a slow process, taking me about 2 weeks to complete a 12"x12" painting.  I didn't spend 8 hours a day on it.  I just tried to do a little bit every day...and then live with it until the next morning.  Sometimes I only worked on it for 10 minutes a day...and then stopped when the painting left me feeling uncomfortable. The discomfort did not come from the subject matter, but more from allowing unexpected things to happen in the painting that might have normally been treated another way.  I forced myself to accept this discomfort as a sign that I was on the right path.  I embraced it.  It was a little scary...but so worth it in the end.

Too often we feel that we have to paint something a certain way, or a way that we've seen before.  If we don't paint it that way, then it "must" be wrong.  But, what happens when we allow ourselves to accept the discomfort as guidance that we are on the right path?  Magic can happen...that's what.

Everyday, as soon as a part of it became uncomfortable, or didn't look right...I stopped.  I waited until the next day to look at it objectively.  Nine times out of ten, I accepted what made me uncomfortable as good, and found solutions to make it work in the painting.  The result was something that I had always vaguely envisioned in my head, but could never make a reality.  Until now.  Except that it's better than anything I could have envisioned.  I also used the layered resin technique on the painting.  I don't know if you can see it very well in this side photo.

With this technique, I paint between layers of resin.  It makes the colors appear to float, and creates natural shadows in the resin.

The entire process was exhilarating.  I went to bed thinking about this painting, and woke up thinking about this painting.  It made me fall in love with painting again.  I have had several students tell me that the Paint Free class made them fall in love with painting again.  I was very touched by that...but now I really get what they are talking about!  You become obcessed...and can't stop thinking about it!  I've already started the next painting..and I might even like it better than this one....

It's a wonderful feeling.

Here's the video for this painting.  I hope you like it.

As far as other things in the news....  The Mixed Media Resin Workshop is online now.  You can take the workshop anytime.  Here's the link.  (And yes, the layered resin technique I used in this painting is covered in the workshop).  The new session of Paint Free begins Monday, Feb. 14th.  Online registration for that class is up now.  The Tough Love Commercial and Creative classes are underway. Wait until I show you what the students in the Tough Love Creative class have done!  Amazing stuff!  I will announce new dates for Tough Love soon.  And Mixed Media with the Girls and Art Play are online to join anytime.

I hope you have a wonderful week.  Thank you guys for everything.  So, tell me...what have you done to step out of your comfort zone recently?

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