Learning to Listen

I had the good fortune to be given a large stash of acrylic soft body paints and lots of canvases. I went to work trying to create images that were influenced by thickly painted expressionists artists. It was a disaster. I tried Golden thick gel mediums and it was horrible trying to get the medium to look like thick oils. I did what frustrated people do. I gave up. I packed my art supplies up and took up sewing. The Sandy Hook disaster had a tremendous impact on me. I want to create beauty to inspire hope in others. I might not ever get here technically but that is the intention behind the action. When my intention became clear it enabled me to conquer some of my art issues. The first and most important was that I needed to accept the materials I had. I was never going to make soft body acrylics look like thick oils. Why try it? Instead I let my marks be soft and fluid more like watercolor. I limited my palette to three colors: ultramarine blue, red cadmium medium, and Naples Yellow. I choose to paint a portrait of my sister-in-law holding my daughter. Technically, it reads like a beginner work. But hey-I am! This is the first portrait I have ever painted. It was from a photo but I was giving it to my sister-in-law and I knew she would appreciate something more representational. Growing as an artist for me means accepting the journey, embracing the material, and taking on challenges. It also means not letting the critic halt my process. Live and learn baby! Here is a picture of my painting and process:

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