Back in 2008, I was feeling ambitious and stretched a big canvas, the biggest I’d ever attempted to paint on. Inspired by something I’d observed whilst out running late in the day, I had made a little pastel sketch of a puddle in a muddy, recently-harvested potato field, with a sunset sky above the horizon and reflected in the puddle. I thought the sketch was brilliant and that it had potential for a great painting so I proceeded to paint it on my big canvas.
I worked on it for months. Every day, for hours, week after week after week, I piled paint onto that canvas (so much paint!) as I tried in vain to bring my vision to fruition. In the end, I capitulated. The surface of the canvas had become so built up with paint it was no longer workable and I’d lost all faith in myself. (Not to mention the stress over having wasted what was probably hundreds of dollars worth of paint!) I pulled the canvas off of the stretchers and threw it away.
With the help of my innate tenacity, I eventually recovered my confidence, stretched a new canvas and had at it again. “This one will be successful.”, I thought. I’d learned from my mistakes. Alas, it was not to be. Months later, with my paint supply depleted and my self-esteem vanquished, I pulled the canvas off the stretchers and tossed it into the waste bin.
I stretched a new canvas on those stretcher bars but, realizing that I hadn’t yet acquired the skills to be able to handle such a large image, I leaned the canvas up against the wall in the corner of the studio where it has remained these past eight years, with its back to me, defying me to attempt to paint on it again.
Then, this image came to me, initially as a tiny (seriously, it’s no more than 2” square) pastel sketch which I found on the floor of the studio, having not even remembered making it. (I do a lot of little pastel color studies, especially late at night, and they end up scattered about the studio on tables and shelves, taped to the wall or, apparently, on the floor.) The large canvas happened to be the perfect dimensions for this image and I felt, having made well over a hundred paintings in the preceding eight years, that I was up for the challenge.
It came together fairly quickly – five or six painting sessions of about four hours each – and I’m quite pleased with it, not to mention the satisfaction of finally having that large canvas become a painting. Things happen in their own time. The universe has a plan. If we’re patient enough, and attentive, we get to watch it unfold.
I am a full time artist, originally from Massachusetts, currently living in northern Maine. I work primarily in oils and pastel, and occasionally watercolor. I offer instruction in drawing and painting at my studio, which is in an old renovated potato barn. Please feel free to view samples of my work (You can see a larger version of each picture if you click on it.) and leave a comment if you are so inclined. Be sure to click the "Older Posts" button at the bottom to see more work. I don't always have time to respond to comments, but if you wish to correspond with me, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org