After nearly two weeks of Painter's Block, do I decide to paint a simple subject ..... noooo, I choose something reflective and complex. But I knew I had to paint something that intrigued me. After fiddling with some colorful objects ... trying to arrange a simple still life, I remembered my mother's old iron. Old irons are so great because they are SHINY and the cords are funky and cloth-covered. New irons are so boring because they are brushed metal and streamlined. When I was in school at UMass, I did a whole series of self portraits in this iron. It was a rather dark period for me, I had lost at Love, I was paying my way through school and therefore broke most of the time, so my prints and drawings were rather dark. I'm embarrassed to say I even called the series "Poor Traits of the Self". Wow, it's a good thing we mature and/or manage to emerge from dark places.
So today, after reading Carol Marine's book entitled, "Daily Painting", I took a difficult subject and her advice about using dark values and greys, and I painted! I was so happy to be painting again that I didn't even mind the Messy Middle (which I was in for a looong time!) I delighted in creating greys and stroking them on the canvas; adjusting values and temperature, and then coming on with more paint. I've included my palette because my students might think it's funny to see me use so many "greys". I'm not known for using them very much.
When we are Stuck it is important to reach for help. Important to reach for words of encouragement and inspiration that lead us back to where we want to be, rather than staying by ourselves and letting the never-ending loop of negative thoughts take away our days. Each day is our day to paint, to create. Even if we don't exactly spend it painting, as long as we spend it in a non-Stuck mode, that's what is important. I am so glad I had just received the book "Daily Painting". It arrived just when I needed it. I devoured it in one day and when I finished it, I felt as though I had been given a whole new energy charge.