Flying Girl in the Garden, or Jungle. 9/25/08
Golden Fluid Acrylic
Sometimes, all is not clear. The horizon is obscured. The sky is shadowed. Sometimes the path is not visible.
But that does not mean we are lost.
Life is not really as simple and clear cut as it seems it should be when we start making plans and think about our dreams. Sometimes we have to take detours. Sometimes we have to reevaluate our directions. Sometimes, things suck.
And that's okay.
Let's take stock of where we actually are. Let's look around for the beauty in the moment, for the lessons in the struggle. Maybe this struggle is there to give us the tools to manage the next step in our dreams. Maybe it is there to make sure we really want what we think we want, or to serve to keep us from taking our blessings for granted. Maybe our jungley life wants us to stop! and pay attention!
Let me tell you, I live in a topsy turvy world where night is bright and lost is found. Bad can be very very good. And good can be the slacker's way out.
As for this painting. The idea came so clearly, while I was out in the garden with the kids. I sketched it out even as I watched the kids get dirty and discover the wonderful world of mud. And yet, the execution of the easy idea turned out to be one of my most difficult.
When I put down the sketch, I was already wary. So many details. Trees and bushes and leaves. So different from the clarity of the pure skyline of the other paintings. After the kids went to bed and I could take out my paints, I knew it was going to take a long time.
And goodness I hated it. The more I painted it, the more I hated it. Too much fuss, too much detail. Too crowded. Too confused. All through Earl, the Office, and CSI I painted. And I think I took it into syndicated sitcoms, too. Mess with this, mess with that. Change the background. Paint out the greenery. Darken the girl. Outline everything. Break the heaviness of the jungle with background. Fix the negative space.
EVERYTHING changed... except for the palm trees... that actually worked, and maybe that was where the concept to adjust the rest of the painting came from. Focus on what was working, adjust the rest.
To tell the truth, this still isn't my favorite painting, but I can see the value in it. Emotionally, it might be a little more personal, less intellectual, and that might be why it felt confused, why it felt uncomfortable.
And I understand now, that's okay. It doesn't all have to be smooth sailing with a balmy sky. We can handle the undergrowth, we can deal with the work of hacking through the wilds, if we focus on where we need to go and where we are, right now.
Do you know, for instance, how lovely a semi tropical garden smells? And how the shade cools from the heat of the sun? And how you can watch life find a way to persevere and flourish?