This is my latest painting. I took the photo a couple years ago when Bob and I were on the Outer Banks for a wonderful little retreat. He blew the photo up and framed it for a Christmas present that year and it has been up in our home ever since.
Recently I was having a hard time trying to decide what to paint next. I wanted to use it to send in with my application for the Virginia Watercolor Art Show and I wanted it to be special. That's what made it so difficult to decide what to paint. There are certainly many paintings on my list of things to do but I wanted it to be a little different. So I took photos and put together some still lives and thought up some unusual topics but nothing really motivated me. I was starting taking up too much time and was not any closer to making a decision.
I had always wanted to paint this photo and when I first thought about doing it at this time I was a little hesitant. I was afraid to go out on a limb. Or to step out of the safe little box that I keep myself in where I feel oh so much more comfortable. When I realized this I had to paint this painting. I did not know how it would work out but it needed to be done. So I finally decided what I was painting.
When I first started painting I kept thinking of that day and the time we spent together. I enjoyed the little trip down memory lane and then I moved into feeling so familiar with the subject matter. I visually knew the subject that I was painting and grew to know it better. It was like when I'm painting a portrait and I begin to feel so intimate with the subject. I get to know the person so deeply from seeing so many details in their features and emotions in their demeanor.
This was a wonderful learning experience. I think that being willing to step outside the box motivated me to paint a different subject matter and to enjoy it so much that I hardly worried about the techniques used to produce the finished product. I think that learning your techniques are of great importance but being willing to paint on another level and using your technical skills but not focusing on them brings you closer to experiencing your expressive process. And isn't that why we paint to express ourselves.
Now the only problem I'm having is to decide what to paint next!