|Desert Floor (in progress) 12 x 18 Pastels|
Sometimes, your lessons reflect back at you! Years ago, my middle son had an art class. Freshman in high school at a time when I was "considering" getting back into art myself, but not quite there, he was struggling with color mixing techniques. He thought the answer was to buy all the different shades and colors in tubes of premixed paints. A lesson I learned in my college days was the technique of blending colors and creating your own shades. Certainly a tedious process, but you learn as much about your 'vision' as you do about the technique.
Some years later, when I started drawing and painting regularly, I could afford to spend money on paints, pastels and colored pencils. A few times, when I didn't have a certain color, I would express my frustration and limitations and how I could get "this" detail if I just had the right shade of green. And of course, he said to me, "you could just mix it. That's what you told me!" And of course he was right. Not that I followed his advice or my own; eventually, I bought that shade of green I needed and other shades of blue. But...
...When I sit with a blank canvas or sheet of paper, I might have a concept in mind, but often it is the willingness to do so that opens the channel to the flow. I'm learning that the very act of sitting through the process, feeling the frustration, the pain, as well as the joy and liquid creativity is part of the process. There are times when my supply of pink pastel is down to a single nub, but I have red and white in abundance...I make it work. I have had times when I only had newsprint available for paper, but in that moment, it may as well be a sheet of the finest sanded pastel paper as far as I'm concerned! I work the surface as if every thought and emotion in my head, is buried beneath the white surface. And it's my job to bring out what's beneath.
I have plenty of things to say, to write, to express...and the means, the medium and time are limited. But today, I'm making a dollar out of fifteen cents!