November 13, 2013

take a step and you'll see

18x36", acrylic on canvas

i have a deep connection to water, probably because i grew up in a coastal town...and as i got older, amid teenage angst and adult ruminations, being near the water became a sort of therapeutic salve for me.  standing at the edge of the ocean watching faithful rhythmic waves and bigness of it all reminds me to find perspective, breathing deeper in the naturally cleaner air i can't help but exhale some stress, hearing gulls and waves instead of traffic or technology...all these things help bring me back to who i am, and simplify my oft swirling thoughts.  lakeside, peering into water close to me, as it reflects the sky and has it's own rhythm of gentler waves, i tend to find calmness in the patterns of rocks and light and shadow.  i settle down.

though my love for being near water has always been so strong, being in it has always been a different story.  unless i can see what is going on around me and exactly what i'm going to step on or touch, there is a paralyzing fear that grips me.  rational logic completely vanishes; i can't breathe, panic sets in and i just want out.

so i find it interesting how much i have paralleled this in life at times.  a few (ok, a lot of) blind turns have cost me in the past, and as a result, i have adapted to rely on my immediate view and present situation to keep my perspective.  there is value in that, of course...but there is also value in taking a breath and taking a step, even with limited vision beyond the present...clinging to the faith that the bigger world around me will still hold me, even if for the moment i'm not sure how.

November 06, 2013

karen's angel

8x10", acrylic on canvas

i don't usually post commission pieces on my blog or website, mainly because they are often a personal and private nature between myself and the client, plus usually not my own design or concept.  not to mention, i rarely photograph them in progress.  i also rarely paint a piece using the grisaille method, but this time i did...AND i photographed it during progression!  the main challenge of this painting was obviously the faded photo and poem printed over it, so the simplest way to stay on track and develop it in an organized fashion with less risk of overemphasizing color here or there, seemed to be to take care of the lights and darks first, then glaze with color.  i have to admit, as i painted this sweet puppy, i pretty much fell in love with her.  hopefully i captured the innocence and simplicity of her love for her guardian, in an un-stylized, direct way.  

{and of course, i had supervision...}