Thursday, January 31, 2013

One Hundred Paintings Part XII

Dusting off the 'ol blog here. It's been a couple months now since I've given an update. A lot has happened in the past few months--good, bad, and good-bad. But it wouldn't be life it weren't inconsistent and you certainly can't fully come to appreciate the moments of true joy and repose until you've been dragged through Hell and back at least a smoldering handful of times. I've actually been in Utica, which is very far from Hell, so far in fact that I may hereafter call it the right place for me right now. After sort of floundering for the past year or so and not knowing what to do or where to go (or truthfully, where to run away to), I very serendipitously ended up in Utica again, and overall it's been a very inspiring and encouraging time of my life. It's brought new light to a city I used to find inescapable. I feel contented to be around what I consider a heartening slew of hard working, creative types.

In short, the recap since August is this: I drove down Florida--my longest car trip where I have driven to date, moved to Rome (not Italy sadly), started a new job as a graphic designer, fulfilled some duties as a maid of honor for one of my best friend's forthcoming wedding, holidays, freelance, car trouble, business trips, endured a horrendous bout of the flu, played shows, took up yoga, made some friends--tried to be a less reclusive person in general, and moved to my own apartment in Utica with my cat. This is all a small fraction of the iceberg that you can actually see, the rest of it is below the icy surface gouging holes in the Titanic of my life. As such, I accidentally forgot about stuff I care about and in truth maybe the only "things" that really matter right now. Like painting, and the way grass smells, writing chord progressions that make me want to "do the dance"-- (as my good friend Lucas would say). Winter has been a cold-hearted, fickle, cussing nightmare this year. I need some good old fashioned sunshine to put things right inside my heart and mind again.

With that said, as concisely as possible, it's not so much that I forgot about the "One Hundred Paintings Project" as I've become imbibed by a dark cloud of jarring and yet illuminating life truths. In reality, the problem was (and always has been) that I remember too much. And have felt nothing but guilt and shame for the past couple months having put off this project. I feel like I neglected a sad puppy. And I just don't like to see a sad puppy-- nor do I like to be one.

So here is to starting anew. I have begun painting again and my goal is to finish the project by the end of Spring. Overreaching? Maybe. I've done crazier things though.

I think the summation of my life from August to present will suffice for explanation and dissection of this week's paintings. I'm going to keep the interpretation up to everyone else, no need to go into too much detail.


This first painting I've also submitted for Illustration Friday's topic this week, which is "wings".

"The Edge"

I like this one I think.

"Let Sleeping Beasts Lie"

Sometimes people really shouldn't poke a sleeping animal that can tear your face off. I'm just saying. Maybe some questions are best left unanswered. There are worse things than curiosity left unsatisfied. 

I'm starting to find my use of roman numerals obnoxious. I originally thought it was a good idea because in the process I could teach myself how to read and write roman numerals, but now I feel like it's pretentious. 

Oh yeah, and it's my birthday; I was painting on my lunch break yesterday in the Cafeteria here at work (I take my lunches at 2 pm lately to avoid gawking while I paint) and a woman whom I've never met comes up and asks me:

"Are you painting that for your birthday?" Thought: Yes... I'm painting a picture to give myself on my birthday. 

Which I thought was humorous at the time, because people ask the most absurd questions when they are confronted with art. Like, 

"Did you paint that whole thing?!" Thought: No, in fact I found it and decided to complete it with the watercolor paints, china nests and paintbrushes I just happen to bring to work today.

I can't even handle my own sass sometimes. I don't know where I learned to be such a smart aleck but luckily I've developed a sass filter and I try not to be condescending in any way. There is so much I myself know nothing about. In fact, I'd encourage even the most stupid questions. At least it means people have a pulse and care about anything. The fact that a complete stranger knew it was about to be my birthday was thoughtful enough. I know what people actually mean when they say these things is "Wow that's really nice!" -- and we all need a little bit more of that in the world.

Herein lies the truth. As I sit here today, I've come to regret even thinking it was a dumb question at all, on the contrary...quite perceptive. In many ways I do feel like completing these paintings was a gift to myself. They are really so much more than paintings to me right now. This project represents something, metaphorically that I've been trying to do for a long time. To not have given up on it means a great deal to me, and reminds me that I'm not a person to simply give up on things I've invested in. In hindsight it might have been the most insightful question I've received all week, so thanks lady from work. And Happy Birthday to me. Whew.