When Your Passion Becomes Your Passion

I have been waking up at 2:00 a.m. lately and staying awake for an hour or two each time. Since I know I am always in for a couple of unproductive hours sleep-wise, I try to make it productive in other ways, by reading or solving a minor problem. While awake one early morning, I had this idea for a piece in my "After Mondrian" series. I was going to flip Mondrian, or at least paint him in italics. And I was going to use one of my favorite go-to subjects: trees.

This being a linear type of painting, I sketched it out using a grid. I moved the grid to the canvas rather sloppily (I learned later), and filled in the grid lightly with very thin acrylic paint. Once I was satisfied with the paint sketch, I started in on filling the grid.

I have witnessed an old-school automotive paint detailer painting straight and perfectly curving lines. I do not have that kind of steady hand. Luckily, painter's tape exists. Yes, they make it for canvas as well as walls. I had strips of tape littering the easel, the desk, and at times, my shirt, but even for all that, some rogue paint brushstrokes got in and stayed. Plus some further paint experiments with varying degrees of success.

I wanted to complete it and have it ready to hang by this week, as I wanted it to be one of my focal points for an installation I am hanging at Vinnie's Pizza for the month of March. Okay, that doesn't sound like one of the more prestigious art galleries in town, but they have a couple beautiful walls that they generously share with members of Mosaic Arts Alliance. And we at Mosaic do not say no to walls now that our flagship Gallery 360 is out of business.

As I was basically following a grid, it seemed like a slam-dunk easy deal. But as the paint got thicker and the grid disappeared, I found it harder and harder to color within the lines. On top of that, the "formula" that I usually use to keep a viewer's focus kind of got lost in my need to make it my way. 

I would wake up at 2:00 a.m. thinking about this painting and trying to solve its problems. Every once in a while I would come up with a good idea during this time and would be able to make it happen the next day. But then I would run into a new problem and have to wait until my 2:00 a.m. thinking session to solve that one.

Then I was done. And I photographed it for my portfolio.

Then when I cropped the photograph I found a huge flaw.

Then I fixed the flaw.

Then I was done. And I rephotographed it for my portfolio. (Taking care to delete the earlier photo).

Then when I cropped the photograph I found a huge flaw.

Then I fixed the flaw.

Then I was done. And I rephotographed it for my portfolio. (Taking care to delete the earlier photo).

Then when I cropped the photograph I found a huge flaw.

Then I fixed the flaw.

Then I was done. And I rephotographed it for my portfolio. (Taking care to delete the earlier photo).

Then I cropped the photograph. And it was good. Enough.

 Oregon in Italics. 36" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas.

Oregon in Italics. 36" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas.

Can you believe this little thing caused me so much angst?

Turns out I'm full of it. Angst, that is.