Monday, September 20, 2010

Put A Foot in It!

c. sullivan - "Coming Home" 24" x 24"  Oil on Canvas

I don't know if I'd call it a right of passage but I had a complete meltdown in the studio last week. There I was in the yellowfish zone for hours when, putting some finishing touches on a 2'x 4' landscape, I just exploded in anger. The culprit? A was cleaning up some detailing with a rag while unknowingly the other end was pulling a huge glob of red paint over a large area of just finished white. ARRRRGH!?!?!? I followed that up with loud choice cuss words. Then I froze. It all happened so quickly. So uncontrollably. And I felt so defeated and then, standing there with my foot in my mouth, I realized my fellow artists had stopped to stare at me in silence. Sigh. I fell into my chair and immediately apologized as my face turned red and my rag bunched up in my hands. I bent over and let out a long sigh and began removing the red line when...NOOOoooOOOOO!?!?! You guessed it. I did it AGAIN!?! The scream that came out was even bigger than before. As were the cuss words. Sigh. Okay. Now you can start laughing. And well so can I,,,now. But at the moment I wanted to toss out the entire piece and was actually mumbling under my breath something like, "Painting Sucks!!!" ...only backwards...and threw my rag in the trash and stormed out.

I always run to mother nature for help in these situations and she was ready for me. Large thunderheads  were racing by as the tips of the trees bobbed. I started talking to myself. Focus! Get a grip! What is wrong with you?! Tired? Yeah, ok. But what else? It took me some time to calm down when I realized that during the last half hour or so I was working ahead of myself. It's hard to explain. It's kind of like in golf when I find myself actually thinking about how easy the putt will be after I knock this nine iron shot down the flag's throat and then blindly swing and watch surprised as the ball goes left and...into the water!?! Can you relate??

Well I decided I better get back in there, get back up on that horse and show the painting who's boss. Funny thing is not only did I easily clean up the careless marks I ended up making a few other changes and decisions and the painting is now the better for it. And to be honest, so am I. I'm not sure I can say that I am happy that it happened but it was a huge learning experience.
c. sullivan, "Harvest" 24" x 48" Oil on Canvas

Everyone tells you to take your time with your art. To step back often and allow the painting to have it's own integrity. To build up its history. To allow the painting to take on a life of its own. And it does happen, at least when you get out of your own way. I guess every once in awhile putting your foot in it can actually teach you something worth while. At least it did for me. Brush on!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Souls of September

No matter how many Septembers I come face-to-face with I am still caught off guard by her ability to sneak up on and then smack me in the head. You know the feeling. It seems summer has just arrived and then you notice out of the corner of your eye that school supply aisles started to pop up and then just as quickly appeared windswept and toppled. Then you are driving down the highway when you notice the car that just sped by you is filled to the brim with personal belongings and instantly you find yourself remembering that first trip off to college or that big move you made for a new job. And there you sit with your thoughts when that BIG September question drops in your lap, "Where is time going and why can't  I slow--it---dowwwwnnnnn?!?"

So here we are in September. Our faces in the strong winds thinking about our lives, our past, those we have lost and try to wrap our heads around the fact that another year is almost over. Then it's September 11th. And that feeling knots within our heart as we ache for all of the souls lost on this fateful day. Then without being asked we find the strength to raise our internal and external American flags and share our grief as well as our pride with our family, our neighbors and friends near and far. Let us never forget.

And I imagine lots of remembering and reflecting is taking place in many home towns across our great country and here in Palm Coast it is no different as local artists donated works created to honor first responders, soldiers and those lost on September 11th to the Flagler County Art League's new art show entitled, A Hero's Call which opens today with a reception from 4 - 7pm. They are also celebrating their new home at City Walk in Palm Coast just a few doors down from Hollingsworth Gallery where you can catch their amazing show entitled, Music is the Muse and relax with family and friends at the encore artist reception from 5 - 9pm.

What a great way to remember and honor all heroes working both here and abroad than by getting out and enjoying great art and conversations with friends, family and fellow artists. See you there!