Monday, March 15, 2010

Right there waiting for me

I've been slowly easing back into painting over the last several months. It had been a while; it had come to feel very distant. The caps of my oil paint tubes, I imagined, were crusted shut -- an apt symbol for my soul as a painter.

The thing is, though I do art for part of my living, I haven't found I'm able to put the time into both art and writing that I would like. They're both full-time jobs. So though I have continued to create new Laini's Ladies lines several times a year, that has pretty much been the extent of my art-making. I haven't felt inspired; I haven't played, pushed paint around just for the joy of it. I haven't tried new things. Art has begun to feel like "the path not taken," and I find myself wondering where I might be as an artist if I was able to put more energy into it. I don't know the answer to that, but this past week I've found myself possessed by this mad spirit of painting. Man. I've been up until at least 2 every night, one night even 3:30. I don't get tired (until morning, when Clementine wakes up at 6!) I've done a couple of things that I LOVE SO MUCH. I can't wait to show you. But I will wait, a little while longer. I will however give you a peek of my new etsy shop, which is still empty, but you can see in the banner a smidge of the piece that I love.

I'd been just using low-grade craft acrylics, the cheap kind from Michael's, in my recent sketchbook dabblings, and having plenty of fun with those. But there was something -- a face -- I wanted to paint with more control, so I pawed through the oil paint basket to see what was happening in there. It's a three-tiered hanging produce basket, you know, the kind you mostly see in kitchens? And it's full of dusty tubes of paint that haven't been touched in . . . a few years? Turns out, most of the caps open just fine, and there was a new small-size can of odorless turp on the shelf, and an unopened tiny bottle of Galkyd (quick-drying medium), and that is all I needed, and so I painted, and oh my god, oil paint is such a wonderful substance. It is so smooth and buttery and magnificent. I felt like I had never stopped; the paints were right there waiting for me, all this time. Why did I stop? I don't know. Paths not taken. How many paths not taken do each of us have?

Well, it's after 2 am for the fourth night in a row, and I'm going to hit they hay for a few hours of sleep before my adorable alarm clock starts to coo and gurgle :-) In the meantime, a short Clementine video. She's something of a musical instrument, as you will see. She (and we) find it very entertaining when you strum her lip, and you have only to put a finger to her mouth for her to obligingly make a sound so that it can go all . . . strummy. (I don't think I'd know a good word for this even if it wasn't 2 am, but as it is, well, you know what I mean.) Cheers!


Heather said...

See. This is why I return here, day after day. You're like a reliable place to find a rainbow. Who wouldn't keep coming back just to find what new beautiful things there are to see, and hear, and read.

tone almhjell said...

Hahaha, so cool! Magnus tries to do that, too, but he just gapes and waits for the funny sound to come out of my finger :)

I'll show her to him in the morning. He can't not want to marry her.

Can't wait to see the painting! And paths not taken... I sort of know what you mean. Only my woods are full of paths that lead nowhere, that plunge into marshes or disappear over the edge of gullets. Reporter bog. Scholar canyon. Hm. Let's hope this one widens again soon.

Anonymous said...

As much as I love the painting explorations, I for one vote that all Laini's other creative activities must cease in favor of non-stop videos of the one, the only, CLEMENTINE PIE!!

Okay, not really, but it would be nice. ;-) She is so adorable I got all vehklempt!

Heather said...

Anxiously awaiting your wonderful creations and another concert from Clementine! Lovely!

storyqueen said...

You know, the day started out like any Monday...yuck....and then I saw the little musician and all of the sudden, the day looked a little brighter.

Looking forward to your picture book (You know you have it in you....)


Anonymous said...

Oh my god that was the cutest, funniest video!! I hope you are bringing teeny Pie tomorrow!

ChristyG said...

I am dying of cuteness! Can't even handle it, seriously.

tone almhjell said...

Magnus forgot all about the nasty cold and the constipation and watched the clip twenty times in a row without so much as a whimper. Yeah, I think he wants to marry her.

Jennie Bailey said...

Oh, I just LOVE that feeling, Laini, when you are so excited and creative and caught up in it that you don't feel the need for sleep! It's so much fun rediscovering an old passion as well.

As for the video of Clementine - I laughed so loud I woke the dog from her deep, snore filled nap. That's just precious and hilarious all in one neatly wrapped package!

Amber said...

I love my picture. We hung it with our family gallery, and it makes me happy.

Do a kids book! Pllleeease.