Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Bloom, or Where You Are Planted- 100/100

Bloom, or Where You Are Planted
100/100 in 100 Creative Challenge *Fireworks* *Triumphant Singing* *Big Sigh of Relief*
Golden Fluid Acrylic on Watercolor Paper, about 8.5x11"

Here she is.

The finale.

Finished about 15 minutes ago. Did a diaper change. Came back and snapped a shot to upload.

This one took a long time. I forgot about my up and down process, since I've been lowering the stakes with my art journals and drawings, which I don't find nearly as difficult.

This one was envisioned a week ago, begun two days ago and is made up of layer upon layer of color and paint. I've been tweaking the tones and lines the entire time and for a while there, I was convinced that this last painting in my personal challenge of painting 100 paintings/art pieces in 100 days was going to be uninspiring. But I ended up really liking it.

First of all, it's bigger than I've been working. It's not that big, but it's bigger. And second of all, I've been thinking about the concept, so there was a lot of weight to it. And thirdly, oh yeah, it was the last piece, so I wanted it to be really good.

Whenever you want the results to be really good, I find that the process suffers. You seize up. You don't want to try risky things. You don't want to mess it up. You are afraid to be a wreck. But when you close off the possibility of wreckage, of pain, of loss, of sorrow, of grief, of dissappointment, of fear-- when you try to be safe and in control and perfect... well you lose the perfection that is your imperfection, your emotion, your beauty, your soul.

I want you to know, I'm not just talking about art, here.

So here I was with my pretend lotus picture, and my idea of blooming where one is planted, and the idea of the beautiful things that can grow out of the muck of the swamp, and I tried to go with it.

I tried to wipe my expectations of what it should be from my mind and just focus on what I had there in front of me. What was working? What pleased me? What resonated? I tried to hilight that. And then to look at what was off? What wasn't quite working together? What needed more attention, a brighter color a sharper line, and take care of that.

And by "take care of" I mean, "try anything I can think of and see what happens next." The flower was white pink yellow green orange cream brown. It had pointed petals then paisley doodled petals then blurred petals. It was darker then lighter then half lighter and half darker. Leaves no leaves. The water was ground at one point and without the fish which was white then yellow then orange. And the blue was green, and then plain blue and then shadows added and then hilights added. And it never stopped evolving except for that "put it away" time where I take the night, sleep on it and see what I need in the morning. I almost always figure it out the next morning.

I guess this is what I learned during this process... in part aided by the Wreck This Journal bookclub... let go, try new things, see what happens and go from what you've got.

I run out of energy sometimes. I get gloomy sometimes. Things don't work out right and I get other things wrong sometimes, but this is where I am planted. The only way I know how to grow is one day at a time. One petal, one step, one painting at a time.

It seems insurmmountable when you look at the big goal from the beginning. It looks inconsequential when you pay attention to only the single steps, and doesn't seem like you are going anywhere. But when you start to add those days up, you can literally track your UNimpossible progress. You can see the logic of movement. You can understand how growth happens.

And then when you reach your goal, the thing that once seemed so unreachable, you look back and think, "huh! that wasn't so hard after all." Honestly, I'm not even all that impressed with my accomplishment because it was so gradual and every day. It was all baby steps. I am gratified, and I like the body of work that I made and I'm pleased with the creative development that happened, but it doesn't seem superhuman looked at in retrospect.

And that gets me to thinking about some of my real life goals.

They seem impossible from here.

But what if they just need dedication? What if they just need commitment? What if they just need some sort of plan and then lots of little babysteps?

Maybe those dreams aren't so impossible after all.

Maybe your dreams aren't impossible, either.


JES said...

Congratulations. Now go treat yourself a little, okay? In 5 years time you may look back on this and think, "You know what? That WAS really pretty cool what I did back then!" -- a little less ho-hum, a little less so-what. Might as well reward yourself now. :)

Christine Claire Reed said...

Congrats, Rowena, this is MARVELOUS! I hope you feel excellent.

And, yes, baby steps. Sorry...not feeling well. My "articulate" is in my itchy throat...but I wanted to say something to this post because this accomplishment is so HUGE.

Jackie said...

I love this:)

Beverley Baird said...

Congratulations! 100 pieces of incredible artwork!
Dreams do come true!

Maureen L White said...

wow another thoughtful and beautiful post. I can relate so well to what you have written. Just today I realized how many baby steps I have taken in my art dream/adventure and truth is the dream is taking shape. Those baby steps at times are killers especially on my ego. However I'm realizing that my ego needs down sizing and I am thankful for each day and each face that brings new
light and vision.
Thanks for your post.

sandi lei said...

Rowena- loved this- thanks for speaking from your heart. Thanks for your encouragement!! xoxo

Rowena said...

Thanks guys. And thanks for reminding me to reward myself. I had forgotten. I'm going to go to a book store and choose some good hours to while away. It's a small reward, but it's mine.

And Maureen, I love what you say about downsizing your ego. Such a good way to put it. Those egos get so inflated and take over. They do need some downsizing if we're going to become the people we're trying to become.

ina said...

We did it, Rowena!

Thank you again for setting this challenge. It has helped me so much. I'm actually painting again for the first time in ten years. I even cleared enough space in my studio (formerly known as the front room, currently known as junk storage!) to have a whole wall to pin my paintings to as I work.

For my reward, I'm gonna keep cleaning and organizing, making room for what is important to me. And I am gonna try to have a show of all of the 100 somewhere in town, and perhaps a margarita :-)

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