"Unless you put yourself on the line and give it your best shot, you'll never know what you could achieve." ~ Paula Radcliffe, marathon world record holder from Great Britain.
There are no guarantees in art. Each stroke of paint, each mark might result in disaster of colour or proportion or conversely, it could improve the work and bring about greater beauty. Artists speak of many trashed paintings on the road to their one successful painting. And so I understand what it means to be putting "yourself on the line."
Growth (or achievements) in any endeavour can only occur if one is willing to accept challenges and be on that line.
All winter, this 30 x 60 canvas has been waiting outside the art room. The canvas is too big for any of the easels I own so I will work on it propped up on the table in my art room.
For a few years, I have had something in mind for this canvas so last summer, I gave it a base coat of black acrylic paint thinking I would work on it over the winter.
Filling a canvas that size is daunting. As time went along, other projects kept me busy and I procrastinated starting work on this large surface. And thank goodness I did because I was recently inspired by a photo I found of my oldest granddaughter at her dance show.
She is the subject to be painted on the canvas.
As I have never worked on such a large surface, it was important to get the correct proportions right from the beginning. Out came the ruler followed by a sheet rock T square. Head, torso, legs, were all measured out before any paint was applied.
At this point, my greatest concern is whether or not I have left too much blank space around her. I have to leave room for the stage at the bottom and that might change the look of the piece once it is added to the canvas.
Here she is with her body partly gessoed and roses lightly sketched on one side. I will be testing different flowers and deciding the type and colours that will be most suitable before proceeding too far along.
I like the idea of breaking up the stage and not having it run from one edge to the other. I have a possible title for the painting and the flowers on the sides would work with it.
Painting is putting myself on the line, and blogging is doubly so. Sharing the work that I attempt or that I complete and writing about it is always a bit of a risk. After all, both are lonely activities that I pursue in my art room each day and then publishing a post allows everyone to see my vulnerabilities.
Those of you who get to the end of my posts, (thank you so much for your understanding) or who have been in contact with me on social media sites or elsewhere, realize that I am not always happy with the outcome. However, I must let go and move on.
Each challenge, each decision is part of the journey I have undertaken in the last two years. Putting myself on the line means that I will give it my best try, and accept that where I am today as an artist is not where I will be tomorrow, or next month, or next year.
What challenges have you accepted lately? How have you "put yourself on the line"?