I have been working on a portrait of a two year old girl. I think with every portrait I’ve painted, at some point I stop and wonder “what ever made me think I could paint?”. This portrait is no exception and that day was yesterday. I have learned, or rather, I am learning, that when I get to a difficult point in a painting I just have to keep painting and eventually the painting will work. It’s just that at the beginning of a portrait, there is so much to do, so much to pull together (values, color, edges) that it can seem almost overwhelming.
I did get through the difficult part today and, once past that, loved every minute of painting. When a painting is going well, mixing paint and laying it on the canvas is pure joy. Hours pass like minutes.
I should be done with this painting in a few days. Starting a portrait is like jumping into a swift river for me, the current carries me along and there is no getting out of the water until the portrait is done. The paint is drying, the ‘idea’ of the painting is clear in my head, there is no stopping.
Unfortunately for my family, there is no stopping to prepare dinner, do laundry, or anything else but the basic necessities. Thankfully I have a husband, and children, who are understanding and tonight was the fourth night in a row that I didn’t cook dinner. Chinese take-out makes the kids happy.
Once this portrait is finished I’m going to paint some small paintings. Something less challenging.
Oh, and do some laundry.