At last. The finished painting I wrote about in my last two, and the funny thing about it? The part that looks hardest was easiest. Yup, the dreamer, herself just flowed; it was keeping the background loose while darkening it that took the most time, thought and effort. That and achieving the final balance, which merits an entire blog on its own.


The whole premise of the painting is how rooted we are in reality, yet how free we are, how far we can go when our hearts and minds work together. It’s about the wonder of it all. Usually, I don’t get too hung-up on marks already made, even when they’re beautiful. How many of you have heard the dreaded words, “You must kill your darlings” from my lips? When they lead the eye astray, the design is compromised, the painting diminished. Sometimes the painting is just better off without them.


In this case, however, the first wash was so very much exactly like I felt about dreaming and did its compositional work so well that I kept everything I could hang on to, glazing one section at a time, encouraging each drip’s second and third layer until it had the balance and the feel I wanted. A couple of drips argued with me, but they bettered the balance instead of worsening it, so I kept them, as well.

It was a very tip-toe affair, and it took quite a while. If you’d been watching, you would have died of boredom.


But wait! It didn’t take me all this time to finish “Dreamer”. I did make the deadline, shout “Hallelujah”, and the show is great — lots of imagination and fun to see. I hope all you Knoxville folks get the chance to see it at the Fountain City Art Center before it’s over.


Take care, and happy painting,


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