The sunflowers are done!!  Yay me!  Do forgive the next couple minutes of horn tooting and shameless self promotion but why else would one blog?  Or rather why else would I blog?  I’m sure there are tons of other much more noble reasons to have a soapbox blog but mine is somewhat more selfish…see my first post ‘Out with the old’ for further explanation.  Anyway, what was my point?  Oh yeah, there’s really nothing quite like the feeling of completing a new painting.  Especially a painting whose inspiration was haphazardly floating around in my head in the form of “I like sunflowers” for the longest time.  When I started this one I didn’t have much of a plan other than I had a long canvas that I didn’t like seeing collect dust in my storage room studio with a painting on it that I didn’t like.  And as I previously mentioned: “I like sunflowers”.  Sometimes what happens is that I either have so little time to so much as pick up a paint brush/pencil or I have commissions to finish and don’t feel right creating a new piece before the commission is done and given to it’s new owner.  Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy commissions: 1) because I’m happy whenever I am doing art, in whatever form, and 2) it’s a bit of an ego boost that someone thinks you’re good enough to trust with their artistic investment.  Sometimes somebody comes up with a fantastic idea for a piece or gives you the greatest picture to work with and it’s nice to just create and to help someone’s notion translate onto paper or canvas.  Or it’s just the clearest photograph of somebody you’ve ever seen, every detail is visible from the mole by the chin to the crows feet near the eye that you enjoy every minute of turning that photograph into a hand drawn portrait.  However, the other side of that is that while you’re creating a piece for someone else from a photograph they’ve given you or a specific idea they want turned into a drawing or painting all kinds of inspirations of your own are swirling around in you own head.  I eventually get enough of these that it gets a little crowded and I need to take time just to let a few of those notions out…I’ve even lost sleep over a really good idea.  Which is why painting The Sunflowers was so enjoyable, it’s been a subject that I’ve wanted to tackle for the longest time and it was quite liberating to take a bunch of oil paint and an abstract thought and just start working…no real plan.  Each time I put the brush to the canvas I had no idea what was going to happen or what shape things were going to take, so by the time I was done for the night (which was unfortunately MIDNIGHT almost every time!) I would step back and regard my work for some time, just taking in the surprises that had unfolded that night.  This is why I was so excited when I finally finished this one late last week.  Until the moment I signed the bottom of it (the last thing I usually do with a piece) I’d really no idea what it as going to look like.  I put all my supplies away and just looked at it for awhile and I have to say (and here comes the horn tooting I was warning you about…) I’m really pleased with it.    It’s been upside-down in my garage for a week now (it’s a thick canvas so I painted the edges to avoid framing…and it just looks cool, but I did the bottom last so it’s still wet) and I keep checking it to see if it’s dry (and many a blue index finger tells me that it is very much still wet).  I can’t wait to hang it up in my house!  My next one to tackle is a painting of a red barn I’d begun right before I’d gotten pregnant with my 3rd son and took on too many commissions (one of which is an entirely different rant for an entirely different blog).  I’d even bought a frame to go with it so it just needs to be completed (poor thing has sat untouched for 2 years!).  Stay tuned 🙂