Today’s Illustration Friday word is “fluid”. I did the oil painting above many years ago and I remember as I approached the canvas that day, I wanted to paint it quickly, without a lot of thought or control. I suppose you could say, I wanted it to be fluid, to come from that part of my brain that doesn’t worry about rules and shoulds, about being good enough, right or wrong. I wanted to surrender to the rhythm of the moment, to allow the smell and feel of the oil paint move with my imagination across the blank, white canvas. And I wanted to stand on that beach myself, a thousand miles from nowhere beneath a dissolving canopy of cerulean blue sky.
“I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after and changed my ideas: they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.” ~Emily Bronte
Need some help picking your next book? Go to this reader generated website, plug in one of your favorite books and get a list of similar books. The painting in this post is by the French painter, Jean-Baptiste-Camille. Looking at his work has gotten me thinking about taking one of the photos I did of Andy and Meagan and painting it. I seem to be “thinking” about going back to painting more and more lately, which is good I suppose, now I just need to put those thoughts into action! I still haven’t quite kicked the flu, it’s been over two weeks and I’m feeling a little frustrated. Luckily, I did a lot of the prep for Meagan’s baby shower earlier this month so I’m not stressing about the fast approaching May 3rd date. Meagan is feeling good and baby Brooklyn is over three pounds now so we are all counting our blessings and waiting for the day we can count her tiny fingers and toes!
I did this self-portrait on a website that lets you paint in the style of Jackson Pollock. That’s me in the morning before my coffee. A couple of hints if you want to try it out. It’s a very simple program, clicking the left mouse button changes the colors, press the Space key to erase and start over, if you get something you like hit the Print Screen (Capture) key on your keyboard, that copies the screen to your clipboard. Go into your photo program and open a new image under File the same size as the image on the clipboard, paste and crop. Easy squeezey.
We work in the dark, We do what we can, We give what we have, Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task, The rest is the madness of art. ~Henry James
This is a painting of my husband’s family, the baby in the dress is his grandfather. I did it from an old family photograph adding the blue sky in the background to lighten up the solemn look of the family. Still trying to find my muse and get back to painting…any ideas on how to get unstuck?
I did this painting some years ago when I was sick. I really wanted to be out there on that beach, out of my body and away from the life that I was living at that moment because it was filled with loneliness and illness. Not aloneness, but loneliness, there’s a difference. I was married and had two beautiful young children, so I wasn’t alone. Yet as my health failed and weeks became months and those months dragged into years of living in a body that had become a kind of prison, I felt isolated. I was like one of those mimes in an invisible box, I could see the life that I wanted to be part of happening all around me, but I couldn’t quite get to it, it was just out of my reach.
That is what chronic illness is, what it does to those living with it. If you’re lucky and have a supportive family and good doctors some of that burden is lifted, but even still, it is a journey that wears on the body and on the soul. Nietzsche once wrote, What does not kill me makes me stronger. I would sometimes think about those words back then, and the truth is, I sure didn’t feel like I was getting stronger. I think that what life’s trials really teach us is that we can survive. We can do what we never thought we had the strength or the courage to do. Are we stronger? Maybe, maybe not. But as we step out of that box, battered and scarred from the crossing, we take with us the wisdom that no matter how dark the day the wings of hope can take us anywhere we want to go:)
For I am bound with fleshly bands,
Joy, beauty, lie beyond my scope;
I strain my heart, I stretch my hands,
And catch at hope.
~ Christina Rossetti