Friday, January 14, 2011

Pure Joy

I did more work on Valley's portrait today, trying to refine her features a little bit more and make the bathing suit brighter.  The surface I put on the canvas seems to have soaked up the paint overnight making it duller than it had been yesterday.  I'll be curious to see how it looks tomorrow.  For now, though, I feel like it's finished.

I also finished Woman Seated (though it sure needs a different title), I think.  The sunlight was coming in and shining on the bottom part of it today.  It was thrilled to see how the sun was making all the transparent paints show up.  It made me smile with joy.

After working on both of those, I began a new piece I'm calling Woman in the Mirror.  It's in the very beginning stages.  Rob Vander Zee had recommended I do it in Grisaille first - do all the values monochromatically like Rembrandt and the other Old Masters did, so thats's the stage I'm in now.  Then tomorrow once that's dry, I'll get to go over what's there now and do glazes to make the whites more luminous and luscious and subtle and to make the darks more complex and interesting.  I can't wait to see how it goes!  I love the mystery of the image.  It's almost abstract in passages because it's completely dark, yet upon further examination, it's clear what it is - I hope!

Today I listened to a TED talk about happiness and realized that I am truly happy right now.  It is wonderful to wake up each day with a head full of ideas and plans and excitement about what I'll get to do during the day.  Each day I get to eat nice meals, then paint or draw, and write, and see a friend or two, and go for a walk with a friend or exercise, and plan my next show, and talk to people who are excited by what I'm doing.  I get to think about Women's Body Image and how I can help spread the word that we all deserve to love our bodies.  I try not to think about whether I'm earning money or not - it isn't like when I tutored x number of clients per day and knew exactly what my income would be at the end of the month.  I have no idea right now.  I have several classes planned which I'm excited about and which I hope will happen, but other than that, I don't know how I'll earn money.  I'm absolutely going on faith.  I have a strong conviction that if I am doing what I feel so strongly called to do that God will take care of that silly old stuff and I don't need to worry about it.

Each day new opportunities arise which I could never anticipate.  For example, the wife of a friend from high school, with whom I've reconnected through Facebook, is working to help me come down to Texas to give a couple of lectures (at the university and to friends of hers) and to teach Naked Self Portraiture.  Wow!  That is completely exciting to me. 

Then today a woman called to ask me to paint her portrait.  Perfect.

It's like that every day.  I just never know what to expect, but it seems like it's all good. I feel completely blessed.

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