this weekend, while painting my house, i had this sort of epiphany …. that painting is really just pushing around some pigment with a brush. controlling it, if you will. for the most part, i can be fairly sloppy on the house: throw the paint on, move it around some, et voila — total exterior makeover. it’s really rewarding to see the fruits of your labor so quickly.
of course, painting isn’t really just pushing around pigment. there’s a concept involved, and usually a goal that’s more specific than ‘i want to turn my blue house brown.’ one of the things that i love about painting folk dogs is that often i never know what i’m going to get. the dogs seem to take on a life of their own once i start filling them out. it’s not as if they’re directing me, necessarily, but there’s a sense of freedom and exploration that each dog gives me.
someone asked me the other day how many folk dogs i’ve painted. i don’t really know, to be honest. i’ve been painting these guys in earnest for the last 18 months or so, and i’ve probably painted close to 120 dogs. that’s about 1.5 paintings per week. sometimes, when i have three or four easels out, it’s overwhelming. painting starts feeling like a job, instead of something i began doing as a hobby. and i have to remind myself that this is a **good** thing.
last night i was working on the ginger & parsley canvas for barkwheats … and i ran into some issues that i haven’t really encountered before. by pushing some paint around though, i got them resolved in fairly short order. and even though the problem-solving was a little bit of work, it was totally worth it in the end, because it only added to my so-called ‘toolbox’ when it comes to painting.
i think there might be a lot of mixed metaphors in this entry, and i’m not sure what the point is. i know that i’m grateful for the folk dogs — for the freedom they give me, and for the challenges they present. standing in my “studio” (which is really just a little space off the kitchen) and looking at easels of folk dogs in various stages of grinning back is one of the most rewarding things in my life, and something i do not take for granted, even when it’s “work.”
i’ve been painting my house. the outside of it. let me tell you, **that** is a capital-C Chore. it’s a biggish house …. and i need a 20-foot extension ladder to get to the tallest parts. so when i say ‘i’ve been painting my house’ what i really mean is ‘i’ve been running up and down ladders all the live-long day.’ the house is not quite 1/2 finished, but i am pleased with today’s progress. plus, i super-heart the new color — a brownish redwood-ish reddish warm hue.
during the little random rainstorm we had, i managed to get the outline done on barkwheats painting #3. paintings #1 and #2 are both nearly done, and i’m really happy with both of them. i’m not going to post them until the People In Charge Of Barkwheats have posted them on their own site … so no spoilers here. i’ll make more progress on #3 tonight, after it’s too dark to run up and down ladders. it’s entirely possible that my hands will morph into paintbrushes, given how much time i seem to be holding one lately.
also i’m still learning how to work this blog thing. so, you know, it might change. or i might mess it up. who knows? like, if anyone reading this knows how i can get the dumb footer off of this thing, let me know. (edit: no dumb footer thanks to new content management system!)