"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.

 Daunting big blank canvas 30 x 60

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.

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. Too big for any of the easels I own, the canvas will be worked on 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.  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.

Initial measurements on 30 by 60 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.

initial sketch on 30 by 60 blank canvas

My greatest concern is whether or not I have left too much blank space around her.  There should be room left for the stage at the bottom and that might change the look of the piece once it is added to the canvas.

The initial line work has been partly filled in with gesso 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.

The flowers on the sides on the canvas would work with with a title I have in mind for painting.

underpainting for large canvas

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”?

6 Responses

  • Like you Louise I am putting myself on the line with a large painting, remember those perfume bottles and when I asked for your input as to how I should deal with them? Well after 3 months I still haven’t gone back to it, I think the word is procrastination ????

    • Maybe it’s not procrastination. Everything in due time. I am starting to think that some paintings need to wait a bit for us to keep learning before we are ready to take them on. I am sure you have other projects to keep you busy in the meantime. I look forward to seeing all your projects my creative friend! Cheers!

  • Bravo to you Louise for going big with the canvas and thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities as an artist. You are not alone in those fear/doubts. I believe every time we conquer a fear on the canvas, it gives us courage to conquer something in life. 🙂 I can’t wait to see this finished.

    • Yes, very true that we grow as we face different challenges in our creative lives. I wonder if writers, and other types of artists have as many doubts. I think they do. It must just be the nature of the beast! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know you read my post! It means a lot to me.

    • Ahhh, Lisa…it’s all trial and error! So scared of messing it up, especially since I really want to hang it on the wall in my house. But, if I take it slowly, I will get there. Thanks for leaving a comment and for subscribing. I appreciate it so much!

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