Now that life is settling down (as much as it can with 3 little boys 6 and under…) I’ve been able to start thinking about doing some painting again. The last couple years has been hectic to say the least and all I’ve had time to do was a few portraits that took me pretty much forever to complete (sorry and THANK YOU to my patient commissioners who FINALLY got their portraits). The reason I got even THAT much done was because of 2 things: 1) few supplies and no clean up and 2) my OBGYN is a popular man with a busy schedule and long wait times. Huh? you ask, well only needing a pencil and paper that can be grabbed quickly while someone is napping and put away just as quickly is a definite bonus as opposed to the set up and clean up required while oil painting. Since my studio is in fact a storage room in my basement (I have big plans for building a studio in the future but that’s a WAYS in the future…you know a future that includes my having the time to take more than a 5 minute shower with no little little fingers sticking out underneath the door) I have to pull all of my supplies out and set them up in a living room somewhere. I then have to change into my paint clothes because anyone who has ever gotten oil paint on any article of clothing (or, if you’re me, on furniture, carpet, the dog…) you know it NEVER washes out (poor Chewy needed a little haircut). Then, once all that is set up, someone ages 3 and under comes and tries to “help”, or if said someone is napping then they promptly wake up because they somehow smell the paint and immediately KNOW mommy is having fun without them. In which case everything has to be put back where it came from. Hence why I do my painting after bedtime, my 1 year old usually goes down easily and most of the time sleeps through the night. So like I said: pencil + paper = easy. Also, while I was expecting baby #3 I was lucky enough to have fantastic friends that could watch my other 2 kids so I could have a nice and relaxing time at my OBGYN appointments. If you have kids and lack babysitters you understand what I mean when I say ‘relaxing doctor or dentist appointment’ (I often get weird looks when I say this, which I understand, because oddly enough not many people enjoy going to the dentist nor would they consider a 3+ hour wait at a doctor’s office a relaxing albeit productive day). For me it’s quiet time to myself. It’s also a place I can bring a sketchbook, a pencil and a smudge stick (see, easy right?) and draw for several uninterrupted hours. I have finished entire portraits waiting for my doctor to get back from delivering babies and each time he apologizes for the wait time I have to laugh because I’d really never noticed, being so engrossed in whatever I was creating.
Now that my oldest is in grade 1, my middle son is in preschool twice a week and my youngest actually naps and goes to bed I have a LITTLE more time to paint. My latest piece is actually an old piece I’d started right before I was expecting baby #3 (as I mentioned in my last blog Finished Sunflowers). For the last 2 years I’ve been walking past this half finished painting staring at it longingly (as well as mentally correcting the perspective on the windows that is just slightly off and driving me NUTS!). It’s a barn that I photographed in September of 2011. We were at my husband’s cousin’s wedding reception just outside of RedDeer, Alberta and I spotted this barn across the road, sunlight hitting it just perfectly with the leaves on the surrounding trees just starting to turn. Time stopped for a second while I stared at the barn and a painting idea popped into my head (I’m guessing this may have seemed a little rude to whoever I’d been talking to at the time, as I’m guessing my eyes glazed over a little…). Not having a camera or a smartphone on me I grabbed the my mother-in-law’s camera and took the picture (which she later e-mailed to me). Then after painting half of it life just got too busy and it ended up in the pile of unfinished works in my
storage room studio. I am planning on pulling it back out tonight (the FIRST thing I fix is those bloody windows!)