A New Canvas

Blank and white, the canvas sits on the easel.


I stare at it for a few minutes, waiting, begin to measure with my pencil. I **** my head to one side and then the other. I mark off rough outlines, consult my sketch again, and then start blocking in the colors. Quickly at first, the detail will come later. Just get the rough idea down for now. When I'm finished, I step back, make sure the perspective is right.

I'm partial to oil pastels these days. I can work on something for as long as I want, there are no constraints for too much time or too little time spent. Blend the pigments, step back, look at my sketch, think of the real colors, and not what my mind wants to see. This sky is not blue or pink or even peach...that's orange. Brilliant shocking orange. Yes, Just like that. Purple and brown and navy with orange and mustard yellow make the sunrise. Not at all what i see when I look at the actual sunrise.

Art makes me think about things. Makes me see them as they are. Make the rounded things flat so I can see just color, not even light and shadow, but shades of red and blue and yellow.

I miss painting sometimes. I went for a long time when I only allowed myself five colors. Just the primaries and black and white. Made myself mix and measure.

I look at the world differently because of art.

I know that problems, like art, sometimes have to be walked away from for a while. Step back, reassess. Get some coffee, take a nap, fold laundry...come back and look at your work with new eyes.

Tonight, I'm looking at this canvas, I've been working on it for a few days, on and off, and I think it's done. About to become something abstract. Something different. Maybe I'll turn it into a collage or something. But for the project I was going for, I need to throw it out, and start again. As an adult, I am starting to understand that even when things don't  turn out the way you intended, they can still be beautiful. And even though it hurts to throw out something you've poured yourself into -- sometimes it is for the best.

onceandfutureglow onceandfutureglow
31-35, F
1 Response Feb 10, 2010

Thanks, and I knew you would. :-)