Friday, January 21, 2011

Wallaby Cave Revisited

It seems a lifetime ago that I began a painting featuring black-footed rock wallabies basking in the last rays of the sun at the entrance to a small cave. I ran into problems with that painting from day one as I sought to apply heavily diluted acrylic paint to canvas in the same way I'd successfully done so on watercolour paper years before. Those methods didn't translate well to canvas and I moved on to fresh subjects in a fit of exasperation. Another obstacle was that I was unsure of some details of the cave and of my ability to improvise in the absence of suitable reference photos. Worthwhile painting ideas are a precious commodity however, and although my first attempt never came to fruition, I always felt I'd return to this subject one day.

When we visited the area 12 months later I was mindful of this painting subject and, on one on our many forays up the creek and with the position of the sun in my original photos in mind, I manoeuvred my kayak into position tight against the creek's steep rock wall with the aim of securing the photographs I'd lacked before. I have an adequate collection of photos featuring the region's rock wallabies, so with a more detailed idea of the painting's backdrop I'm a little more hopeful that Wallaby Cave version 2.0 will be more successful.

With the intention of beginning my attempt in the week ahead, I'm conscious of the need to make some lifestyle changes to accommodate it. Getting more sleep is at the top of the list, the aim being to reduce the weariness I feel at the end of a long day in front of a computer screen. Hopefully, I can begin to feel a little more motivated and be a little more productive in the evenings than I have been in recent months.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Can Feel a Painting Coming On!

After a long absence from the easel and from this blog I'm probably no closer to picking up the paintbrushes again, although the enforced absence does serve a useful purpose in strengthening my resolve to do so as soon as I'm able (or under-employed once again!).

I'm not entirely without free time, but from experience I know that grabbing ten minutes here or an hour there just doesn't lend itself to successful artistic endeavours; strangely, I've noticed in the past that I can be an hour or more into a painting session before I feel the creative gears in my brain engage.

With work having taken precedence over the past few months, I've become aware that I reflect with increasing frequency on what it takes to feel whole, and on the impact a denial of who I am at my core has on my sense of well-being. Perhaps it's that I'm on the wrong side of 50, but striving to be my authentic self takes on new importance as I contemplate my life's direction and the forces that influence it - not all of which I have control over. Ultimately, I know that to be truly happy I need not only to be creating, but to be surrounded by creative people from whom I can draw inspiration. Until my circumstances change, the best I can manage in that regard is to keep tabs on the various blogs I follow in an effort to somehow remain connected to their authors, and to our common goals.

I can feel a painting coming on!