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!